Chaos broke out at a Patrolman’s Benevolent Association meeting on Tuesday. After weeks of bad blood between the de Blasio administration and the NYPD, things came to a head at the union proceedings with many cops telling Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch that they would rather have more support in the field than continue a feud over apologies.
Lynch has been one of the most vocal critics of the mayor recently, stoking divisions between the NYPD and City Hall when he accused the administration of “having blood” on its hands after two officers were executed in their patrol car by a crazy person back in December. After Tuesday’s union gathering, it would seem some cops would rather have functional equipment that keeps them safe than play politics.
According to the New York Daily News:
“This is what my members want!” a cop yelled near the end of the raucous meeting. “They want more cars, better vests, more manpower!”
And then the cop — one of about 350 in attendance — took a verbal jab at Lynch, who has called on de Blasio to offer a mea culpa for his continued lack of support for police.
“They don’t want an apology,” he said.
There were reportedly about 100 cops standing and screaming at the peak of the meeting. One source said, “Lynch’s guys got up and there was shoving and pushing.” The source added, “They asked Lynch directly: ‘What did you ask the mayor for?’ ” Lynch did not provide an answer and he stormed after about 10 minutes of conflict. No injuries or arrests were reported.
Some officers accused Lynch of orchestrating the recent slowdown of police activity. Those opposing the union boss’s actions seemed most concerned about increasing backup and updating equipment, such as the bullet proof vests, which the New York Post has reported are under an expired warranty.
For his part, Lynch called the reported 100 police “a few agitators bent on their own self-agendas,” and he doubled down on his own agenda by sending a three-page letter to the mayor following the flare-up. In the letter, Lynch criticized de Blasio for meeting with protestors to discuss their demands. The PBA President wrote, “Mr. Mayor, this led to the perception of you and your administration aligning yourselves with the protesters.”
Sources said that Lynch’s supporters tended to be from Manhattan and his detractors were from the Bronx and Brooklyn — where violent crime is higher. According to the Post, one person put it plainly, “Patty is losing control of the union. That’s the bottom line.”
(Photo: BK Reader)