The head of New York City’s police union said officers felt “thrown under the bus” by Mayor Bill de Blasio following a Staten Island grand jury’s decision not to indict an officer in the death of Eric Garner, CBS New York station WCBS-TV reports.
Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said the mayor needs to do more to support New York City cops.
“What police officers felt yesterday after that press conference is that they were thrown under the bus,” Lynch told reporters Thursday. “That they were out there doing a difficult job in the middle of the night, protecting the rights of those to protest, protecting our sons and daughters and the mayor was behind microphones like this throwing them under the bus.”
Earlier in the day, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani said that de Blasio’s speech tore down respect for the criminal justice system.
What de Blasio did was mimic one of President Obama’s worst habits by weighing in personally on a news story that needed a leader to calm any potential escalation. When a leader has a powderkeg-in-waiting on his or her hands, it isn’t the time for an impromptu op-ed speech for the cameras. Had de Blasio been a regular citizen, an emotional response would have been fine. As the leader of the largest city in the country, selling out the people appointed with keeping the peace in that city was almost criminally irresponsible.
In this sensationalist media age, the bad seeds sadly get far more press than the good people. Yes, some cops step over the line, occasionally leading to tragic outcomes, but all cops aren’t like that. If we are ever to have rational discussions and debates on issues that clearly need to be addressed, we need leaders who lead rather than emote.