NYPD Union Prez Patrick Lynch: Only Police Are Qualified To Judge The Actions Of Police

from the lol-no dept

As you’ve probably already heard, last week former tennis star James Blake was blitzed by an NYPD plain clothes officer in front of his hotel, tackled to the ground, and left cuffed there bruised and cut. The officer in question thought he was brutalizing someone who had committed credit card fraud. In itself, this would be quite a problem, as credit card fraud isn’t the kind of crime that typically results in an NYPD beatdown. Except that James Blake is black. He’s also, as it turns out, not even the suspect this officer was supposed to be looking for. He just happened to fit the description. The NYPD has since apologized to him, an apology that one would hope was met with narrowed eyes and a defiant chin.

But you’ll never guess who isn’t apologizing. Actually, you probably will, because it’s NYPD Patrolemen’s Benevolent (hah!) Association President Patrick Lynch, who penned a letter to the media covering the story. Let’s just see how much we can get through this before we stop pretending like we’re dealing with a sane person, shall we?

AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL OF THOSE
INCLINED TO JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS

And we’re off to a bad start. Jumping to conclusions isn’t the best description when there is public video of Blake getting tackled and the NYPD has already apologized. Oh well, on to the real meat of this gem.

To all arm-chair judges:

If you have never struggled with someone who is resisting arrest or who pulled a gun or knife on you when you approached them for breaking a law, then you are not qualified to judge the actions of police officers putting themselves in harm’s way for the public good.

And just like that, we’re done. I’ve embedded the rest of the letter below the post in case you want to read the whole thing, but you really probably shouldn’t. There isn’t much point in continuing to read something built on a premise that rests entirely on the logical fallacy of argument from authority. The very idea that anyone who hasn’t arrested an armed resistor ought be precluded from judging those who have is provably false. After all, there is no test of would-be judges that includes a screening to make sure they’ve experienced this. And they’re literally judges. Beyond the courts, the press has long been investigators into police misconduct, highlighting abuses. It’s their job, after all. And the public falls under the purview of our laws, which just so happen to apply to police as well. And those laws are built by the public’s representatives, so you best believe that the public has every right to judge public servants against those laws.

But according to Lynch’s amazingly stupid letter, this all goes out the window when it comes to the police. They have earned the benefit of the doubt. Why? Because danger, yo.

That is why no one should ever jump to an uninformed conclusion based upon a few seconds of video. Let all of the facts lead where they will, but police officers have earned the benefit of the doubt because of the dangers we routinely face.

Dangers like tennis players standing idly outside a hotel lobby? Do tell!

In any case, commentators appear to not be taking Lynch’s letter to heart. You really should read all of Ken Womble’s open letter in response to Lynch’s, but since I only made it through a couple of grafs of Lynch’s, we’ll keep this fair and include only the first paragraph of Womble’s response.

Sept. 16, 2015 (Mimesis Law) — Dear Pat,

I am in receipt of your letter entitled “An Open Letter To All Of Those Inclined To Jump To Conclusions.” First, allow me begin by making a point that I think is vitally important. Fuck you.

I agree. Fuck you, Pat. Fuck you very much.

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Comments on “NYPD Union Prez Patrick Lynch: Only Police Are Qualified To Judge The Actions Of Police”

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55 Comments
That One Guy (profile) says:

Irony so strong it's almost weapons-grade

AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL OF THOSE
INCLINED TO JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS

Like, oh I dunno, cops who assume that if someone looks vaguely similar to a suspect for a totally non-violent crime they need to be tackled to the ground, roughed up, and left handcuffed? That kind of ‘jump[ing] to conclusions’?

To all arm-chair judges:

If you have never struggled with someone who is resisting arrest or who pulled a gun or knife on you when you approached them for breaking a law, then you are not qualified to judge the actions of police officers putting themselves in harm’s way for the public good.

Yeah, regarding the ‘in harms way’ bit. Do police put themselves in harm’s way, sometimes on a regular basis? Yes, because that’s their gorram job. Don’t like it, or can’t handle it in a reasonable manner? Do everyone a favor: Quit.

Imagine if other dangerous jobs were similarly staffed by cowards.

Firefighter: “Well I know my job is to put out fires, and save people from them, but running into a burning building is dangerous, so I think I’ll stay outside, and if people get burned alive, well, better them than me.”

Lifeguard: “True, it is technically my job to save people from drowning, but they might flail about too much, and put my life in danger in the process. No, I think I’ll sit right here and just watch.”

Doctor: “I know I’m supposed to treat people with injuries and illnesses, but some of the things they have are contagious and dangerous. As such, I think it would be much better for everyone, but mostly me, if those that were sick stayed as far away from me as possible.”

Soldier: “While theoretically we’re only supposed to shoot enemy combatants, it can be pretty difficult to tell at times. As such, I find it much more easy to just shoot everyone I come across, just in case.

Hmm, no, pretty sure the same logic he’s arguing, applied elsewhere, would be immediately rejected as cowardly, pathetic, and idiotic.

If someone isn’t willing to risk their safety, then they don’t get to go into a dangerous line of work and whine about how it’s dangerous. Leave, and let the position be filled by those with working spines.

Jeremy Lyman (profile) says:

Re: Irony so strong it's almost weapons-grade

NYPD Firefighter: knocks down buildings that might catch on fire, says they fit the profile.

NYPD Lifeguard: chases people away from beach wearing riot gear; drownings down 5%, concussions up 300%.

NYPD Doctor: gives random people on street chemotherapy, blames them for looking like cancer patients.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Irony so strong it's almost weapons-grade

  1. deaths by piggies on the job is at iits lowest since the 1880s
    2. firefighters are KILLED on the job about twice the rate of piggies
    3. there are MAnY, many jobs which are MANY times more dangerous and deadly than donut eaters; cabbies are murdered on the job at about 4 to 5 times the rate of kops
    4. 90%+ of piggies go thru their whole career without drawing their firearms
    5. ALL kops are dirty because they will not turn in the kops they know are scum…
Face Down On The Ground says:

Re: Time to Man Up

Agreed! I have thought so for years and stopped visiting NYC 35 years ago. The mayor missed an opportunity to fire all those who turned their backs on him during a speech at an assembly.

Dismiss them all and rehire only those who agree to follow laws and be accountable for their own violations or criminal activities.

The union thug is too stupid to listen to.

Jeremy Lyman (profile) says:

I made a few revisions.

AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL OF THOSE
INCLINED TO KNEEJERK DEFENSES OF AUTHORITY

September 17, 2015
To all biased law enforcement association presidents:
If you have never struggled with someone who is illegally arresting you or who pulled a gun or taser on you when they approached you to exercise their own ego, then you may mischaracterize the actions of police officers putting the public good in harm’s way for their own gain.

It is mystifying to all citizens to see police chiefs and union reps whose only expertise seems to be making blanket statements commending any and all police action, while condemning those commenting from outside the system, and who have never faced the dangers that police officers routinely cause, come to instant conclusions that an officer’s actions were right based upon nothing but the fact that an officer committed them. That is irresponsible, unjust and un-American. Worse than that, your uninformed rhetoric is inflammatory and only serves to worsen community/police relations.

In the unfortunate case of former tennis pro, James Blake, — who was clearly mistakenly identified by a complainant — there certainly could be mitigating circumstances which caused the officer to handle the situation in the suddenly violent manner he did. Do they exist? Frankly, no one will know for sure until there is a full and complete investigation. That is why full and complete investigations are needed, even when the focus of the examination is a police officer. The public has seen too many abuses of power swept under the rug, and it seems the only way to accomplish the oversight police are supposed to levy upon each other is with public outcry. Let all of the facts lead where they will, but all citizens have equal benefit of the doubt because presumption of innocence is a cornerstone of our legal system.

The men and women of the United States are once again disheartened to read another the knee-jerk reaction from authoritarian advocates who enjoy the safety provided by police department immunity without understanding the very real risks that it poses to our society. Due process is the American way of obtaining justice, not summary innocent judgments by law enforcement bureaucracy or advocates unwilling to investigate and prosecute their comrades.

Sincerely,
Jeremy Lyman
U.S. Citizen

Anonymous Coward says:

Don't protect bad cops. It puts good cops in danger.

When someone is as clearly in the wrong as this officer is please don’t feel obliged to protect them. It just makes you and your brother officers look as bad as he does. He already threw himself under the bus and can only pull you under the other wheel.

Bad cops make people scarred of all cops. Scarred people make bad decisions. Bad decisions are sometimes dangerous to everyone involved.

Kenny P (profile) says:

Re: Don't protect bad cops. It puts good cops in danger.

75% of NYPD is composed of very bad cops. How is it that you can have cops on the streets who have been employed for more than a decade, but never arrested a White person? HHHmmm, good question, right? Of course, we all the answer. Remember this: We live in a city where White people rioted and ATTACKED federal law enforcement when John Gotti was sentenced to life in prison for his RICO conviction, which included 14 murders. 14 Murders is definitely a serial killer. However, hold on, because it get a lot worse: How can Rudy Giuliani rant and rave that Black males are responsible for the majority of the crime in NYC, when he is the person responsible for brokering the deal which freed Sammy "The Bull" Gravano, an admitted killer of 24 people? Talk about serial killers. Can it get any worse? You damn right it can. I know of a man; an Italian man , who over a span of more than 25 years murdered over 300 people in the NYC area, and never spent one day in prison; not one day. Where was that punk, bitch, Patrick Lynch at? Probably ranting and raving against Black people. No, I am not going to name the 300 – plus murderer. However, believe me, he existed and did those murders. NYPD knew about him, as did the FBI. However, they never would have dared arrest this well-known Mafiosi figure, because they wee too busy pointing fingers at Black people. If anyone wants to know who that man is/was, just read and pay attention.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Dead Wrong

Be advised, qualification has just exactly nothing to do with anything here.

The People, are DUTY BOUND to JUDGE the police & elected officials.

The People are DUTY BOUND to SERVE AS JURY wielding ‘Jury Nullification’as part of an arsenal striking down terrible laws that are used to oppress The People.

The People typically get just exactly the government and law enforcement they deserve and voted in.

Anonymous Coward says:

Yes, a video that might show a police officer acting improperly. Of course, it is a snippet that in full and accurate context might prove otherwise. Calling for reserving judgment until after a full investigation does not deserve the foul mouth and immature responses presented in the article and many of the comments here.

For a site that regularly rails against perceived denials of due process, it seems out of place to present an article that lambastes in the crudest of ways the opinion of an individual who advocates investigating first.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

The problem isn’t that police a re being pre-judged – it’s that they’re being judged by their own, according to a different standard, and typically face zero punishment (unless I’m missing how “paid administrative leave” amounts to punishment).

That’s a perception that THEY EARNED. If they don’t like it, it’s up to them to correct it.

Hint: letting douchebags like this union fuck speak for them ISN’T helping.

JMT says:

Re: Re:

“Of course, it is a snippet that in full and accurate context might prove otherwise.”

But is obviously didn’t, since they released him without charge and apologized.

“For a site that regularly rails against perceived denials of due process, it seems out of place to present an article that lambastes in the crudest of ways the opinion of an individual who advocates investigating first.”

Nice try, but no. This site regularly rails against perceived denials of legal due process. It does not say the public shouldn’t voice an opinion based on the available info.

Andy B (profile) says:

Did Sorkin write this letter?

That last paragraph:

The men and women of the NYPD are once again disheartened to read another the knee-jerk reaction from ivory tower pundits who enjoy the safety provided by our police department without understanding the very real risks that we take to provide that safety. Due process is the American way of obtaining justice, not summary professional execution called for by editorial writers.

The author of this letter must have just watched A Few Good Men. Aaron Sorkin’s version was longer and more dramatic, but no less tragic.

You can’t handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lieutenant Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know, that Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives! You don’t want the truth, because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall. We use words like “honor”, “code”, “loyalty”. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it! I would rather you just said “thank you”, and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to!

But they must have missed the remainder of the movie. Kaffee and the rest of the defense, the “editorial writers”, move to put Jessup under arrest (and protect his rights) so he can get the trial he deserves.

Anonymous Coward says:

[quote]To all arm-chair judges:

If you have never struggled with someone who is resisting arrest or who pulled a gun or knife on you when you approached them for breaking a law, then you are not qualified to judge the actions of police officers putting themselves in harm’s way for the public good.[/quote]

Seriously? What about the 99% of Americans who don’t show up with a knife or gun but are threatened, harassed, intimidated and victimized by police?

Personanongrata says:

Resign Tax-Feeder Resign

Dear Patrick Lynch,

If you as a police officer (ie civil servant) cannot work with citizen oversight: resign.

If you as a police officer see yourself as a warrior and America as a battlefield: resign.

If you as a police officer cannot treat your fellow citizens with respect: resign.

Patrick your entire existence (and that of all other civil servants) is predicated upon all the hard working citizens of NYC (US) going to work, earning a living and then paying taxes in order to fund your no civilian oversight tyranny.

You may remember the following from your high school civics lessons:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances

Ring a bell Patrick? Remember you swore an oath to protect and defend these ideals.

Perhaps Patrick you should resign as PBA union president and venture out into the real world and actually earn a living (where your salary would be based upon what skills you have to offer your employer) rather than simply running your mouth in your no work position while feeding off the productivity of the citizens of NYC and members of the NYPD.

Patrick please give serious consideration to leaving America and joining Kim Jong-un in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as your dedication to despotism is wholly compatible with this totalitarian government. You would never have to worry about citizen oversight again.

Anonymous Coward says:

“To all arm chair judges” That phrase by itself is all I needed to read. Was the more commonly used “street lawyer” term insufficient for you to use “president” Lynch? Your officers use it quite regularly.

At the risk of lowering myself to your level of inflammatory word use, you’re a piece of shit. Didn’t need to parenthesize that last word nor make it into a memo

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