NEW YORK, N.Y. – President of the New York City PBA union Patrick Lynch held a press conference Monday afternoon in which he repeatedly slammed NYPD Commissioner O’Neill over his decision to fire Daniel Pantaleo.
Lynch calls out O’Neill for choosing to ‘cringe in fear of anti-police extremists’ instead of backing the officer that he represents. Lynch says that when the commissioner realizes the grave mistake he’s made… it will already be too late.
“The damage is already done. The NYPD will remain rudderless and frozen, and Commissioner O’Neill will never be able to bring it back. Now it is time for every PO in this city to make their own choice.”
The NYC PBA Twitter account posted a statement from Lynch soon after the decision came down to fire the officer who was involved in Eric Garner’s death. Multiple federal investigations into the details behind the ‘chokehold’ death failed to uncover sufficient evidence to indict Officer Pantaleo.
But on Monday, after a police administration judge handed out a 46-page report about the investigation and the supposed cause of death, Pantaleo was dropped from the department almost immediately.
"The damage is already done. The NYPD will remain rudderless and frozen, and Commissioner O’Neill will never be able to bring it back. Now it is time for every PO in this city to make their own choice." pic.twitter.com/TAsNyXQG3J
— NYC PBA (@NYCPBA) August 19, 2019
Critics on social media expressed their disdain for the union president’s unwavering support of Pantaleo, saying the PBA didn’t seem to care about people.
The PBA responded calling the claim ‘laughable’ and pointing a finger at NYC Mayor de Blasio’s seeming non-existent leadership, especially when it comes to police matters.
This is laughable. We are a union. Of course our 1st priority is to protect our members that they can do their job safely & effectively. That is in the interest of all NYers — it is @NYCMayor @BilldeBlasio’s abysmal leadership that is standing in the way. https://t.co/lDsE1x6I6o
— NYC PBA (@NYCPBA) August 20, 2019
One organization put it best.
“When police officers are required to use force in order to effect an arrest, the possibility of a tragedy occurring is exponentially increased,” said a spokesperson from Brothers Before Others, a non-profit made up of active and retired officers. “However, a tragedy is not a crime. Once Officer Pantaleo informed Mr. Garner that he was under arrest, to which Mr. Garner, who was a well-documented and known offender and twice the size of Officer Pantaleo, balled up his fists and said, “Not today”, he chose the fight. He chose to initiate a series of events that ultimately caused his own acknowledged preexisting poor health to result in his tragic death. If he felt like he was being unjustly arrested, there is a process for dealing with that. Nowhere does that process involve resisting arrest.”
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The group says that Garner is responsible for his own actions, and when it comes down to it, a fight for your life is exactly that – a fight to stay alive.
“If you were to walk up to a stranger on the street and pick a fight, it could end tragically for you. Why would you think that would be any different with a police officer? Does anyone honestly believe that a criminal can fight with no rules but a police officer has to fight nice?”
Officers throughout the city are outraged that their brother was so casually discarded, and it has many others wondering about their future with the department.
Watch Lynch’s press briefing about Pantaleo’s termination right here.
— NYC PBA (@NYCPBA) August 19, 2019
The attitude toward police in New York City, as well as a large part of the country, is not great. In just the last handful of weeks, NYPD cops were repeatedly assaulted with water buckets, an angry mob in the Brooklyn projects injured three officers who were trying to break up an unruly party, and levels of disrespect have never been higher.
These anti-police attitudes followed by public outrage and the firing of officers for political reasons are putting members of law enforcement in danger. They are asked to perform a job – then punished for doing it? Who the hell would want to be a cop anymore?