Police across the nation are “not the enemy” of the communities they serve, said New York Police Benevolent Association President Mike O’Meara in an interview, which comes on the heels of several arrests of NYPD officers during protests as well as a push to “defund the police.”
O’Meara stated that law enforcement around the country is mourning the death of George Floyd and standing with peaceful protesters, adding that he had to speak out against politicians and media outlets. They have been “vilifying” cops “like animals and thugs,” he said.
“We are portrayed in the press and everywhere else as the enemy and we want people to know that we take our jobs seriously, we’re professional, and the vast, vast majority of the time we act appropriately and honorably and that’s what we do and that’s not being portrayed right now in the media and in the world,” he told Fox News.
There have been calls to dismantle or defund police departments across the United States, and some Democratic politicians have complied. It includes Minneapolis, where the city council said it has enough votes to disband its police department, although it didn’t say when it would happen or what its replacement would be.
O’Meara said that the pressure on police has been significant in recent weeks.
“The notion that police are not investigated and we’re some wild organization out there, you know, doing what we wish is just a falsehood … And, that’s why I think it’s important … because we need people to understand that we are under scrutiny,” he told the news outlet. Meanwhile, the vast majority of NYPD officers “act honorably every day,” but amid the protests, riots, online censorship, and skewed media coverage, they’re being portrayed in a negative light.
“Our legislators in New York—we have had a partnership with our legislators in New York for years and years and years. I know many of them personally. And, they dropped us like a hot stove when this happened,” the union leader said, adding that “reform isn’t just about saying that all police are bad.”
His remarks came after NYPD union leader Pat Lynch said politicians are asking them to abandon their communities during the anti-police protests.
Several days ago, Captains’ Endowment Association (CEA) President Chris Monahan wrote a letter complaining that due to a lack of state and city leadership, police cannot crack down on violent protesters.
“They do not have your back and will use you as a political pawn!” he wrote, according to the New York Post. “My assessment is ‘Hands off the protester/looter you will be assaulted by them. Hands on the protester/looter you will be assaulted by our elected officials.’ BE CAREFUL!” it warned.