The president of the New York Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, Patrick Lynch, was recorded in a private meeting last week candidly expressing his contempt and level of disrespect for those who wish to hold police accountable.
Lynch even went so far as to call those who dare criticize the violent nature of the NYPD, "enemies."
“If we won’t get support when we do our jobs, if we’re going to get hurt for doing what’s right then we’re going to do it the way they want it," he said. "Let me be perfectly clear. We will use extreme discretion in every encounter.”
“Our friends, we’re courteous to them. Our enemies, extreme discretion. The rules are made by them to hurt you. Well now we’ll use those rules to protect us.”
It didn't stop there, the us vs. them mentality, which is overt in Lynch's words, continued.
Lynch said Mayor Bill de Blasio acts more like the leader of "a f**king revolution" than a city.
“He is not running the city of New York. He thinks he’s running a f**king revolution," Lynch said, to which the delegates responded with applause and cheering.
The recording, obtained by the Capital, lifts a veil and shows how these police officers really feel about those who bring into question their violent and brutal tactics.
During the recording, Lynch voiced his antipathy for the congressional workers, who made such a powerful statement last week when they walked out on the steps of the Capitol to protest the recent police killings.
Lynch complained about those brave members of "the United States Congress on the steps of the Capitol raising their hand as if police officers aren’t protecting their rights to do stupid sh*t like that."
Because calling out police violence is "stupid sh*t," right Lynch?
Lynch also encouraged officers to sign an affidavit saying that in the event they’re killed in the line of duty, they do not want the mayor at their funeral or wake, a letter that has been criticized by the mayor, NYPD Commissioner and even Timothy Cardinal Dolan.
“If they’re not going to support us when we need ‘em, we’ll embarrass them when we can,” Lynch said.
Does this sound like a group of people who want to work with others to foster peace?
I don't think so. They sound more like a rogue group of spoiled children, throwing a temper tantrum after being scolded by their parents. Only these children can kill you with impunity.
Unfortunately the vitriolic lashing out by Lynch is not reserved solely for the New York Patrolmen's Benevolent Association.
Police Unions across the country are calling for apologies, or worse, from anyone who speaks out against the overt injustices in this country.
A St. Louis police association demanded that players actually be punished, for raising their hands in the air to bring attention to the Mike Brown case.
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Gabe Crocker, president of the St. Louis County police association, while defending the decision to call for players being punished for their free speech said,
"What's interesting is that it's the same kind rhetoric that's used against us. Why can't a police union demand that, after what it deems as misconduct, why can't it demand discipline?"
Does Crocker really believe that calling for justice in the killing of an unarmed teenager demands the same kind of "discipline" that people feel a killer cop should face?
What is wrong with this picture?
Jeff Follmer, the president of the Police Patrolman Union in Cleveland is demanding an apology for Cleveland Browns player, Andrew Hawkins and his decision to practice free speech and wear a shirt that said, “Justice for Tamir Rice – John Crawford.”
Follmer issued the following statement Sunday, after the game:
"It’s pretty pathetic when athletes think they know the law. They should stick to what they know best on the field. The Cleveland Police protect and serve the Browns stadium and the Browns organization owes us an apology."
To demand an apology for someone asking that justice be served in the killing of a 12-year-old boy, or the execution of a man attempting to purchase a BB gun at Walmart, is sickening, to say the least.
There is also the case, not related to the killing of anyone, of a Spokane county deputy saying that they have armored police tanks so they can defend themselves against "constitutionalists."
When video of this incident went viral, the Sheriff responded by accusing those of us who covered it, of spreading dangerous hate speech.
Sherrif Knezovich actually put out an 8 minute video trying to convince people that being worried about his deputy saying he has armored vehicles to defend against constitutionalists, is somehow unpatriotic and hateful.
Police in this country are circling their wagons and it seems more than just a defensive move. It actually seems antagonistic.
"It strikes me as being very strident, more strident than usual," William King, a criminal justice professor at Sam Houston State University in Texas, told TPM in a phone interview of the Cleveland police union's statement specifically.
"Normally, it's a very procedural justice message: 'Just wait and see what the investigation finds,'" he continued. "These messages are different. They seem almost, perhaps, maybe, just a little bit antagonistic."
TPM also spoke with another criminal justice profession at American University in Washing D.C., Ed Maguire, who said,
"Down to a person, what [police] they're saying is 'It's such a horrible time right now, such a difficult time to be a police officer. We're under attack from every angle." He continued, "So it does seem like some of the more vocal police unions are ramping up in a way that we haven't seen in the past."
In a time when there is so much public disapproval and mistrust in the American police system, why on earth would police not be apologetic, or at the very least diplomatic, instead of confrontational?
It seems that police have forgotten their role as public servants and instead have assumed a role of a third party, occupying force, accountable not to the people, but to their well connected Union bosses.