New York City’s police union isn’t happy with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s recent comments on a grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Eric Garner.
Patrick Lynch, the head of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, said the mayor’s comments on Wednesday were the equivalent of throwing the city police under a bus.
“What police officers felt yesterday after that press conference is that they were thrown under the bus. 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,” Mr. Lynch said, a local CBS News affiliate reported Thursday.
Mr. de Blasio told an audience that he worried over the years if his son Dante would be safe at night before adding, “And not just from some of the painful realities of crime and violence in some of our neighborhoods but safe from the very people they want to have faith in as their protectors,” CBS reported.
Mr. Lynch responded that parents of all heritages should teach their children to “respect New York City police officers, teach them to comply with New York City police officers even if they think it’s unjust,” CBS reported.
Garner died July 17 while resisting arrest for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes. Video of Garner taken just before his death shows him saying “I can’t breathe” multiple times as Officer Pantaleo appears to apply a chokehold.
Officer Pantaleo’s representation says he used an authorized maneuver to take down Garner and that health problems contributed to his sudden death.