NYPD union leader Pat Lynch, in a press conference, slammed the rampant criticism of police officers in New York City during Black Lives Matter protests, arson incidents, riots, and vandalism in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
“What we’re seeing now, in a rush to push packages of bills, in the dark of night without even reading them,” he said. “They’re following the crowd,” he added.
“Defund the police” is a “slogan on a sign” that means different things to different people, Lynch remarked, noting that some have used the slogan to call for abolishing the police. Meanwhile, some will say that they need to shift funds around.
Lynch criticized moves from district attorneys across the state to not prosecute looters and rioters, while noting that a district attorney prosecuted a police officer who was “put in a bad situation.” They are “refusing to do their job” but asking the NYPD to “pull back” and “walk away.”
“They’re asking us to abandon our communities,” Lynch said, saying that the city’s leadership under Mayor Bill de Blasio is trying to “appease” rioters and criminals.
“If [officers] put your hands on a criminal, you’re going to jail,” he added.
But Lynch said that he “will defend our citizens,” adding that crimes have happened because NYPD officers “have been pulled back for doing our job.”
It came as seven people were shot within 10 minutes in separate incidents in Brooklyn.
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.
It ended with a hopeful message and a prayer: “Rest assured if the wheel of misfortune falls on any of you, the CEA will be there to defend and protect you. Religious or not, at this time Saint Michael must pray for us because our leaders have abandoned us.”
Across the United States, police departments have banned chokeholds, Confederate monuments have fallen, and officers have been arrested and charged amid large global protests against violence by police and racism in the wake of Floyd’s death.
President Donald Trump and Republicans have used the “defund the police” call from activists and leftists to tie top Democrats like Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to the movement.
“LAW & ORDER, NOT DEFUND AND ABOLISH THE POLICE. The Radical Left Democrats have gone Crazy!” the president wrote on Twitter.