NEW YORK – With the activity in New York City, there are bound to be controversies. People want police work to be objective, but it’s very much subjective. Split second decisions work out well more often than not, but when they appear questionable, the unfavorable news hits the headlines.
Cops understand the nature of the business, and know their actions are newsworthy. But they also want a fair shake. They desire leaders that will not throw them under the bus at the first sign of conflict between competing interests; those with political agendas and officers on the beat. When the leader has a political agenda that collides with the practice of his followers, support is lacking as condemnation quickly spills forth in statements.
Police union officials deplored the treatment of Barry. “He threw this sergeant into the barrel of guilt without giving him the opportunity for due process,” Sgt. Ed Mullins, the head of the sergeants’ union, said of the mayor. Not to be overlooked was the criticism offered by Commissioner O’Neill who referred to it as a “failure.” Mullins continued, “For him to say it’s a failure, I think he has to take full responsibility for the failure.”
But not withstanding, the union accused top police officials of rushing to judgment before an investigation had begun. Rank-and-file officers at NYPD have been skeptical of the mayor. Since Mr. de Blasio ran on a reform agenda, his tenure has been a rocky with officers working the streets, as he is quick to criticize their actions.
“The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear,” Mr. de Blasio said, citing Nelson Mandela in his remarks in Lower Manhattan this week. Perhaps the mayor is unaware that his philosophies create a source of fear among cops on the beat, so they feel a certain level of animus toward his leadership.