NYPD Union Turns On President Pat Lynch For Using Two Officers' Deaths To Fight A Pointless War With The Mayor

from the every-tragedy-is-an-opportunity dept

Pat Lynch, the president of New York City’s Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA), has always been a cop’s best friend, especially the more questionable ones. In the wake of Eric Garner’s death at the hands of an NYPD officer, Lynch was quick to deflect criticism by pointing fingers at the person who captured the incident on video.

The New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the largest union representing NYPD officers, said in a statement that it was “criminals like Mr. Orta who carry illegal firearms who stand to benefit the most by demonizing the good work of police officers.”

Lynch also opposed efforts (supported by Police Commissioner Bill Bratton) that might make his officers more accountable, ignoring evidence collected elsewhere because it didn’t agree with his belief that cops shouldn’t be watched. Oh, and the real problem is that the city is too quick to hand over money to victims of police misconduct.

We are reserving our decision on body cameras until we see some real evidence of their effectiveness and impact on the officers who carry them. The Public Advocate cites the $152 million that the city spends on lawsuits against police officers but what she fails to say is that the city refuses to fight even the most ridiculous and baseless of the claims. Instead, they settle these ridiculous suits when they should fight everyone of them to conclusion which would effectively put an end to quick buck lawsuits against our officers.

As the situation eroded after the killing of Eric Garner, Lynch continued to support the NYPD’s every action. When two officers were killed in their cars by a gunman, Lynch used this tragedy to widen the divide between the police and the policed. During memorial services for the slain cops, attending officers turned their backs on Mayor De Blasio for his daring to suggest his mixed-race son might have more to fear from the city’s stop-and-friskers than whites.

Lynch further leveraged this tragedy with his explicit support of the NYPD’s “work slowdown.” Unfortunately, this non-enforcement of bullshit charges failed to return the city to its murder-a-minute heyday of the 70s and 80s, instead highlighting the fact that only going after more dangerous criminals was actually a fairly good way to police a city.

But even though Lynch has done his most to be a cop’s best friend, it’s becoming clear that many cops are no longer returning his affections. Union members are finally realizing that Lynch doesn’t really serve his members’ interests. He only serves himself.

Back in January, a union meeting devolved into shoving matches and screaming as members began to express their displeasure with Lynch’s preference for grandstanding, rather than taking care of his officers.

A police union meeting sparked an uproar Tuesday when officers blasted union president Pat Lynch over his demand that Mayor Bill de Blasio apologize to the NYPD, police sources said.

The war of words took place at the end of the two-hour meeting at Antun’s in Queens Village when union delegates from the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association began shouting at Lynch, demanding to know what came out of a recent meeting with the mayor, a law-enforcement source said.

Lynch accused the mayor of having “blood on his hands” after the slaying of two NYPD officers, while refashioning their corpses into his personal pulpit. But his officers don’t care whether or not De Blasio apologizes for his statements on the Garner case. What they actually want is what almost all officers want: safety.

The officers at the union meeting wanted answers from Lynch about getting heavier weapons, better bulletproof vests and new patrol cars, the source said.

Lynch values being very publicly right above almost anything else. His officers just want to feel that what happened to two of their own won’t happen to them. Lynch not only doesn’t care about the rank-and-files’ priorities, he’s not above using their deaths to further his career.

Critics of Patrick Lynch have accused the fiery union leader of campaigning for reelection on the backs of murdered cops — including the use of a somber photo at a memorial for the slain officers…

The latest controversy stems from a new campaign video showing the president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association in uniform at a makeshift memorial honoring Liu and Ramos.

The 1-minute, 4-second video, which a Lynch spokesman said was not authorized by the campaign, begins with a backdrop of stars and the words: “Team Lynch 2015.”


In one image, Lynch is delicately laying flowers at the foot of the memorial.

“Thousands of cops went to that memorial and he gets his picture taken and uses it,” the delegate said. “ None of the other cops had their pictures taken. Only the politicians . . . so that makes him worse than the politicians.”

“Authorized” or not, it’s not making Lynch any more friends in the department, something he kind of needs if he’s going to continue to hold this position of power. And as for the authorized aspect of the video, various PBA spokespeople seem to be offering contradictory statements.

The pictures in the video are not meant to elicit the sympathy vote, spokesman Al O’Leary said. “(They are) just the most recent photos available of him in uniform,” he explained.

Why someone from Lynch’s camp would feel compelled to defend images from an unauthorized video, much less make statements about the intent of the photos that supposedly weren’t picked by Lynch’s office, is puzzling. Then there’s the fact that the video first surfaced on PBA treasurer Joseph Alejandro’s Facebook page, which would at least suggest endorsement of the content. (Which has since been removed for — of all reasons — copyright claims by the NY Daily News over images used in the video.)

Whether or not Lynch specifically authorized this video no longer matters. He will suffer the backlash from its publication just the same. He no longer has control of the union and he has really no one else to blame. While the PBA will undoubtedly continue to defend its officers from criticism and accountability, it likely won’t be Lynch heading it up. It’s the union that isn’t, one whose “leadership” cares more about press appearances and political warfare than ensuring its members are better protected and equipped.

At the end of the day, cops (rightly or wrongly) just want to make it home alive. And while Lynch is certainly quick to deploy the unofficial First Rule of Policing in defense of his officers’ misconduct, he has no interest in actually backing up his stated concern for officer safety with any practical actions. Lynch’s eventual exit will be welcomed, even if his replacement may be the same sort of self-centered political animal. Lynch managed to turn two tragedies into nothing more than a pointless, public shouting match with the Mayor’s office that did nothing at all to serve the officers whose wages he receives a cut of.

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Comments on “NYPD Union Turns On President Pat Lynch For Using Two Officers' Deaths To Fight A Pointless War With The Mayor”

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S. T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Of course a police officer should hope to make it home alive each day.

But when their desire to stay alive trumps proper procedure and the safety of anyone not wearing a badge, that First Rule of Policing can result in horrible tragedies.

The vast majority of people don’t want a police officer to die—but by the same token, the vast majority of people don’t want their lives ended because of a police officer’s lousy judgment.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Feb 23rd, 2015 @ 9:35pm

If ‘want to make it home alive’ was the entirety of it, then no, there wouldn’t be anything wrong with it, but when you tack on ‘… at the cost of the safety or lives of those around them’, then yeah, it becomes a problem. When you’ve got cops gunning down innocent people because they might have presented a threat, then that’s taking it just a titch too far with regards to ‘protecting officer safety’.

Anonymous Coward says:

It’s certainly shocking to see that the head of the police union — an unelected official — has so much more power than the mayor of the city, at least regarding police work. The police are, at least in theory, supposed to be under the command of civilian authority. The term “police state” comes to mind when the police are a law unto themselves, beholden to no one but themselves.

Blasio would be wise to hire his own private security detail, instead of relying on a hostile armed gang who would probably rather see him dead.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Call the bluff

Instead, they settle these ridiculous suits when they should fight everyone of them to conclusion which would effectively put an end to quick buck lawsuits against our officers.

Oh my yes, I too would love to see more lawsuits against the police, especially the infamous NYPD, go through the whole process of a public trial, and I’m sure the police and their unions would love the results.

There’s a very simple reason cities and police departments almost always settle rather than go to court when the police get sued, and I find it hilarious that he’s going to claim that it’s simply laziness.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Call the bluff

^^^ THIS ^^^

Makes you wonder exactly which side is suggesting the settlements, where none of these suits ever make it to trial.

After all, exactly which victim would put in, as part of the settlement “and the police admit to no wrongdoing?” My guess is the police are suggesting they settle out of court, and this is just part of their boilerplate language.

By all means…let the bluff be called!

orbitalinsertion (profile) says:

We are reserving our decision on body cameras until we see some real evidence of their effectiveness and impact on the officers who carry them.

Perhaps the murders, beatings, harassment, targeting, and vicious interrogations that the police find so useful against other criminals would be effective then. The rest of the citizenry wants to make it home alive and unmolested (and not treated with contempt of citizen) every day too.

Christenson says:

Accountability might have saved those two cops

Dear NY PBA and members:

The timing of the shooting of these two cops strongly suggests that it was in revenge for the murder of Eric Garner followed by the failure to hold those responsible accountable. Believe it or not, failure to punish police wrongdoers and remove them from the force, especially murderous wrongdoers, makes a policeman’s job significantly more dangerous.

Likewise, body cameras make it safer, if they are used to hold everyone accountable for their actions.

DBM (profile) says:

Lynch is a white Al Sharpton interested in nothing more than self promotion. He doesnt care if a cop is bad, making sure the guy gets off helps insure his POWER.

De Blasio is a leftiest idiot who likes to blame the the cops for everything.

Both should be removed.

BTW TD one or two days of not doing stop and frisk is not going to turn NYC back into murder central but stopping it long term of completely will. Go back and read your history.

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