New York police union officials on Tuesday fumed over public treatment of law enforcement in recent weeks, which included New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s asking for a light touch from the NYPD as protests engulfed the city following the Memorial Day killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
NYC Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said recent shootings have increased.
“Ask yourselves, why did they feel emboldened to do it? Because there’s no consequence, there’s no cops, and we’re held back,” Mr. Lynch said.
“We look great in our blue uniforms. We look great when we’re standing straight up on the corner, but the message of a soft touch means you look great but don’t get yourself dirty. You look great, but look like a potted plant,” he continued.
Mr. de Blasio had said he wanted to see a “light” touch from the NYPD as officers tried to quell recent protests after the Memorial Day killing of Floyd,a black man, while in the custody of Minneapolis police.
Mike O’Meara, the president of New York state’s umbrella group for Police Benevolent Associations, said a majority of police interactions are “overwhelmingly positive” despite the recent negative attention after Floyd’s death.
“375 million interactions with the public every year … overwhelmingly positive responses,” Mr. O’Meara said. “We don’t condone Minneapolis — we roundly reject what he did as disgusting. It’s not what we do. It’s not what police officers do.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was also recently forced to walk back criticism of the NYPD over how the department has handled the recent protests, some of which have escalated into mass looting and violence.
President Trump threatened last week to step in and fix things in the city after Mr. de Blasio had rejected calls for the National Guard to help calm things.