Patrick Lynch is making it difficult to take pride in or even respect the NYPD
The NYPD is essential to New York City. Their jobs require them to face horrors on a daily basis. We want to be proud of them. Patrick Lynch, the head of the Patrolman’s Benevolent Association, however, is making this very difficult to do. While not all NYPD officers are complicit in recent reckless and disrespectful displays, Lynch and his mob most certainly are.
The average person didn’t know who Patrick Lynch was until a little while ago. The death of Eric Garner thrust him into the national spotlight, something he seems to enjoy. When it was announced that the officer involved in Garner’s death, Daniel Pantaleo, would not face an indictment, Lynch was in the news every day.
Patrick Lynch defended Garner’s killer as an “excellent cop,” conveniently forgetting that Pantaleo had given the NYPD a black eye from previous civil suits, especially concerning his conduct towards black men. He even told Anderson Cooper on his CNN show that Pantaleo did not choke Eric Garner.
Lynch’s statement was incredibly tone-deaf, as the video clearly showed a chokehold. A forearm does not cross the victim’s throat in a simple headlock. That’s a choke. Those aren’t the actions of excellent cops. Those are the actions of a Lynch Mob.
Things came to a head after the tragic murders of Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos. It cast a heavy air over New York City, and we struggled to understand why a madman from Baltimore had committed such an atrocity in Brooklyn.
Let’s be clear; nothing justifies the deaths of those two officers, or anyone. Their deaths were an injustice, just as Eric Garner’s was. The common thread for both incidents, and what should bring both sides of this together, is the common injustice. But that’s not how the Lynch Mob played it.
Instead, blame was thrown on the protests over the non-indictment. Human nature being what it is, the protests also attracted some hooligans and looters. But the looters had nothing to do with the murders of those officers. Their killer had nothing to do with the peaceful demonstrations either. Still, the Lynch Mob blamed the protestors.
But that still wasn’t enough. Patrick Lynch was just getting warmed up. Now he went after Mayor de Blasio, saying “That blood on the hands, starts on the steps of City Hall, in the office of the mayor.” This because de Blasio admitted he told his bi-racial son to be careful when dealing with the NYPD.
This a ridiculous reason, of course. Patrick Lynch was simply seizing an opportunity to boost his image. The progressive mayor had always rubbed the Patrolman’s Benevolent Association the wrong way. One of de Blasio’s campaign issues was reforming how the NYPD operated, after all. The whole “Stop the Stop and Frisk” thing, remember? Not to mention Police unions are the only ones conservatives loudly support. So there’s that.
Considering that one of the main defenses for Pantaleo was that Garner wouldn’t have died if he hadn’t resisted arrest, then de Blasio shouldn’t apologize for telling his son to be careful of the NYPD. By the Lynch Mob’s own logic, the Mayor told his son the right thing.
Also, it needs to be mentioned that just because you criticize something doesn’t mean you hate it. This is exactly how Patrick Lynch and his Mob have twisted around what the Mayor said. One cannot help but notice the petulance of the PBA in this light.
It’s also disheartening to note that similar firebombs weren’t thrown at the feet of Cliven Bundy, white supremacists, or the Tea Party when former Bundy militants killed two Las Vegas police officers. Certainly not at the level the Lynch Mob is throwing firebombs at the Mayor, anyway.
So, with an obvious political motivation, the Lynch Mob have repeated reckless rhetoric with relish. They began putting on public spectacles, turning their backs upon the Mayor several times, including at the funeral of Officer Ramos. Their message seems to say “respect our authority, even though we don’t respect yours!”
Meanwhile, two thirds New Yorkers still feel there should have been an indictment in the Eric Garner case. The crux of this entire conflagration is still injustice. The Lynch Mob’s antics are trying to distract us all from that. Sickeningly, it’s working.
“Overall, cops made 56% fewer arrests in the past week than in the same period the prior year, with sharp declines in busts for robberies, assaults, burglaries, grand larcenies and gun and narcotics offenses.
Drunken driving cases dropped 67% over the New Year’s holiday. Cops who patrol the crime-plagued housing projects made 80 arrests, compared with 377 the year before. The transit force recorded 32 busts, down a staggering 96% from 751 arrests in 2014.
With so many serious felonies going by the boards, it seems barely worth note that cops have virtually stopped writing traffic tickets, as well as summonses for low-level misdemeanors. Both are down by more than 90%.”
Ordering a work stoppage is something the Lynch Mob denies now. But it is clearly happening. If they are going to stop doing their jobs, then the NYPD clearly does not care about earning back the trust of the people.
So much for “Protect and Serve.” Guess that oath doesn’t mean as much to the NYPD as we were led to believe. If the Lynch Mob doesn’t want our trust back, then they shouldn’t get it. And what they did at Officer Liu’s funeral was absolutely abhorrent.
The NYPD was asked by Officer Liu’s family and Commisioner Bratton not to turn their back on the Mayor during the memorial service, but many of them did so anyway. If they won’t respect authority or decency, how are we supposed to respect them?
Furthermore, if they won’t respect the wishes of a fallen police officer’s family, then they were never there to honor his memory. Instead, they made a mockery of it in order to make a political statement.
In the face of rising anger about the disrespect shown for the public by the NYPD; and especially going against the wishes of slain officers’ families and Commisioner Bratton; Lynch’s defense was to say that officers turning their backs was a “peaceful protest.”
While Lynch deserves small praise for his brass, he deserves greater demerits for this blatant hypocrisy.
So, to sum up, the Lynch Mob believes they can buck the authority of the Police Commissioner and the Mayor at will; along with disrespecting the family of their fallen NYPD brother; and they don’t feel the need to live up to their oath of protecting and serving the people of America’s biggest city. And they see nothing wrong with any of this!
Here’s the kicker; if the Lynch Mob has no problem being this disrespectful to their Mayor in public, imagine what they do to black men in private. Chilling premise, no? Justice hasn’t been able to breathe for a very long time now, and the Lynch Mob is a perfect example of why. This is exactly the kind of attitude people were protesting against. An unjust one.
Meanwhile, what has been lost in all the noise is the focus on those who were killed and why. The common threads binding the deaths of these three men together now include obfuscation as well as injustice. Any true concerns over why they died have become buried under a mountain of political posturing.
Patrick Lynch has been head of the Patrolman’s Benevolent Association since 1999. He has run unopposed in their elections because he is so well liked by union membership. Unfortunately, this tells us quite a lot. The PBA is in a public relations crisis right now. It’s so bad that this writer, a huge supporter of the NYPD, now refers to some of their members as a Lynch Mob.
But the PBA is willingly trapped in their bubble, and Patrick Lynch is both an example of and a reason for this circumstance. They are massively damaging the NYPD’s credibility. The repercussions of this are only beginning to be seen and felt. You think calling them a Lynch Mob is bad? They keep going down this road, and a helluva lot worse is on the way for them.
Choose the NYPD and ignore the Lynch Mob. New York’s Finest would be better off without them, and it will be easier for us all to be proud of them again.
“You can truly grieve for every officer who’s been lost in the line of duty in this country, and still be troubled by cases of police overreach. These two ideas are not mutually exclusive. You can have great regard for law enforcement and still want them to be held to higher standards.” ~ Jon Stewart