Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Did the Police Officers Who Turned Their Backs on the Mayor Do the Right Thing?

 

Mayor de Blasio said a boneheaded thing when he stated that he and his wife tell their African-American son to be careful with the police. Everyone — white, brown, pink and purple — should know how to deal with the police (ie, don’t attempt to resist arrest, etc…). The message of being respectful of police is one that all young people need to hear: Mayor de Blasio turned it into a racial thing, and for that, he is a bonehead, no question.

There is, however, a wide gap between saying something stupid and having blood on one’s hands. The head of the NYPD Policeman’s Benevolent Association, Patrick Lynch, stated that Mayor de Blasio has blood on his hands.

I am pro-life, and was raised in the pro-life movement; all my life, I have been told by those in certain circles that anyone who opposes abortion is partly responsible for violence against abortion clinics, because by speaking out against abortion, all pro-lifers are encouraging the crazies. There are people who believe that anyone who questions abortion has blood on their hands. When I heard about what Patrick Lynch said, my experience in the pro-life movement was the first thing that came to mind. Mr. Lynch seems to be saying that anyone who criticizes the police has blood on their hands. At best, this is over-the-top rhetoric; at worst, it’s an attempt to silence people. I am accustomed to representatives of Planned Parenthood trying to silence people, but was surprised to hear that kind of talk from the NYPD.

I realize that many if not most of the people Patrick Lynch wants to shut up are wrong, but freedom of speech doesn’t only apply to people who are right. I don’t care if the mostly peaceful protesters are members of the KKK, the Black Panthers, the Communists or the Nazis: they have a right to peacefully protest, and the act of peacefully protesting and/ or saying boneheaded things does not mean that they have blood on their hands.

Before all of this happened, I had always been a little bit in awe of police officers in general and the NYPD in particular, but I am deeply uncomfortable with Patrick Lynch’s statement and with the officers who turned their backs on the Mayor. What would happen if members of the armed forces turned their backs on the President? Even if we can’t stand the man who occupies the office, aren’t we called upon to respect the office, especially if we are in the military or police forces?

The police are in a very dangerous job. They risk their lives every day, and most of us have tremendous respect for them — but having tremendous respect for someone doesn’t automatically translate into always agreeing with someone. Patrick Lynch doesn’t seem to understand that. The officers who turned their backs on the mayor don’t seem to understand that, and that is troubling. It seems to me that the NYPD had the moral high ground, and they squandered it. What do you think?

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  1. Profile Photo Member

    It must be remembered that (should anything untoward happen to the mayor/president) those same peace officers and service personnel would immediately step in to protect/defend. I don’t think being a first-responder/service member should deprive one of freedom of expression. Thanks for asking!

    • #1
    • December 30, 2014, at 4:15 PM PST
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  2. Profile Photo Member

    Nanda Panjandrum:It must be remembered that (should anything untoward happen to the mayor/president) those same peace officers and service personnel would immediately step in to protect/defend. I don’t think being a first-responder/service member should deprive one of freedom of expression. Thanks for asking!

    I understand where you are coming from Nanda, but must ask again: what would happen if members of the Armed Forces turned their backs on the President, especially while in uniform? Any job that we want to stay in will deprive us of freedom of expression to one degree or another: a waitress who wants to keep her job can’t go around telling all of her customers exactly what she thinks of them. That’s life. I certainly don’t expect police to remain totally silent in the face of the Mayor’s obnoxious comments, but there is a right and a wrong way to go about things. I think Patrick Lynch and those who support him are going down the wrong road.

    • #2
    • December 30, 2014, at 4:22 PM PST
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  3. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Three of my own brothers have served in the NYPD. I’m with Giuliani on this; the police reaction was wholly understandable, and the spontaneous protest was also understandable, especially when De Blasio showed up on the first night.

    That doesn’t make it 100% Kosher, though, and as a rule it should be discouraged between officers.

    Shorter version: We’re with you, we sympathize, we’ll work to get rid of this guy at the next election. But he’s still the mayor.

    • #3
    • December 30, 2014, at 4:34 PM PST
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  4. PHCheese Member

    It was the politicians who allowed the police force to unionize and now they need to live with that. The military as of yet is not unionized. I think Lynch is doing the right think. In some countries that Mayor has been involved with, his own force would shoot him like a dog.

    • #4
    • December 30, 2014, at 4:35 PM PST
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  5. Profile Photo Member

    Judithann Campbell: I think Patrick Lynch and those who support him are going down the wrong road.

    Agree that the union president needs to think about – and measure – his words and delivery. I also think that silence and turned backs are a perfectly consonant and powerful way to respond to what peace officers perceive as a very vocal lack of support. We have seen it used by the Left effectively, no? (E. g. students vis-a-vis the flag/Pledge of Allegiance, etc.)

    • #5
    • December 30, 2014, at 4:45 PM PST
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  6. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    It’s a different dynamic. It’s not like deBlasio is going to lead them to war against Newark.

    Cops are more like employees than military. They show up, do their shift and go home to family at night. They’re not “deployed.”

    • #6
    • December 30, 2014, at 4:50 PM PST
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  7. Pencilvania Inactive

    It’s one thing when an ordinary citizen on the street says boneheaded things; when someone with the stature and responsibility and media bullhorn of the mayor of New York City says blatantly boneheaded things, I actually think it’s the responsibility of the police, or whoever is most directly affected by the boneheadedness, to point it out in the most public, but safe, way possible, to limit more boneheadedness. I think the police got it exactly right.

    • #7
    • December 30, 2014, at 4:52 PM PST
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  8. Profile Photo Member

    Nanda, those on the left who use that tactic are not in uniform, and they haven’t taken an oath to stand by the President/Mayor, civilian leadership.

    • #8
    • December 30, 2014, at 4:57 PM PST
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  9. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    The Mayor made his bed, now he has to sleep in it. If he does not like the situation he has created he can fire the officers in question.

    As the Mayor is discovering there is a difference between being placed in a position of leadership and leading. He has the position, but he does not seem to know how to lead.

    • #9
    • December 30, 2014, at 4:59 PM PST
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  10. Profile Photo Member

    Judithann Campbell:Nanda, those on the left who use that tactic are not in uniform, and they haven’t taken an oath to stand by the President/Mayor, civilian leadership.

    J, they are not *saying* that they won’t “stand by”; they do *more* than that daily. Again, I agree that their union president is hyperbolic, but I think their solidarity-motivated response is proportional…I also appreciate EJ’s insight into the differing dynamic here…Enough from me, I think…

    • #10
    • December 30, 2014, at 5:03 PM PST
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  11. EThompson Inactive

    Gary McVey:Three of my own brothers have served in the NYPD. I’m with Giuliani on this; the police reaction was wholly understandable, and the spontaneous protest was also understandable, especially when De Blasio showed up on the first night.

    That doesn’t make it 100% Kosher, though, and as a rule it should be discouraged between officers.

    Shorter version: We’re with you, we sympathize, we’ll work to get rid of this guy at the next election. But he’s still the mayor.

    That sounds like something I’ve believed my entire life. But unfortunately, pols such as De Blasio and Obama have defecated on their offices.

    EJHill:It’s a different dynamic. It’s not like deBlasio is going to lead them to war against Newark.

    Cops are more like employees than military. They show up, do their shift and go home to family at night. They’re not “deployed.”

    Really? Last time I checked, we had a voluntary military and cops certainly qualify for that category. I’ve often asked myself- which would be less dangerous? Afghanistan or Newark?

    If I sound hostile, it is because a dear friend’s brother is an undercover narcotics officer in NYC. Whenever I visit, I’m always anxious to ask him questions, but his wife and his sister won’t let me; it’s too stressful for the family to listen to my enquiries. I respect that.

    • #11
    • December 30, 2014, at 5:25 PM PST
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  12. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Just to highlight the differing mindsets, a contrast of oaths:

    Oaths

    As you can see, the NYPD makes no pledge to the mayor whatsoever.

    • #12
    • December 30, 2014, at 5:26 PM PST
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  13. EThompson Inactive

    EJHill:Just to highlight the differing mindsets, a contrast of oaths:

    Oaths

    As you can see, the NYPD makes no pledge to the mayor whatsoever.

    So?

    • #13
    • December 30, 2014, at 5:30 PM PST
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  14. Profile Photo Member

    Judithann Campbell:Nanda, those on the left who use that tactic are not in uniform, and they haven’t taken an oath to stand by the President/Mayor, civilian leadership.

    I think you are conflating an act of protest – peaceful protest, unlike the people marching through the streets calling for dead cops- with what I guess would be desertion , or dereliction of duty. I think the cops, if called upon, would still protect DeBlasio. I would rather they be allowed to express their disdain, as long as they do their jobs. I think liberals are self righteously hyperventilating over this because they embarrassed the big dope – which in my opinion he richly deserved.

    • #14
    • December 30, 2014, at 5:35 PM PST
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  15. Profile Photo Member

    Fake John Galt:The Mayor made his bed, now he has to sleep in it.If he does not like the situation he has created he can fire the officers in question.

    As the Mayor is discovering there is a difference between being placed in a position of leadership and leading.He has the position, but he does not seem to know how to lead.

    Yes. Like someone else we know.

    • #15
    • December 30, 2014, at 5:36 PM PST
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  16. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    EThompson: So?

    There is not quite the same chain of command. In the city, the mayor is not considered the Commander-in-Chief. In the military it specifically starts with the President and that is made clear in the oath.

    My son, whether in or out of uniform, may not disparage anyone in his chain of command. Under Abe Beame the entire NYPD was in open revolt.

    • #16
    • December 30, 2014, at 5:51 PM PST
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  17. EThompson Inactive

    EJHill:

    EThompson: So?

    There is not quite the same chain of command. In the city, the mayor is not considered the Commander-in-Chief. In the military it specifically starts with the President and that is made clear in the oath.

    My son, whether in or out of uniform, may not disparage anyone in his chain of command. Under Abe Beame the entire NYPD was in open revolt.

    The NYPD turned some backs, but they continue to place first priority upon protecting the people.

    Giuliani said it best: ” De Blasio needs to apologize.”

    • #17
    • December 30, 2014, at 5:59 PM PST
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  18. Profile Photo Member

    EJHill:

    EThompson: So?

    There is not quite the same chain of command. In the city, the mayor is not considered the Commander-in-Chief. In the military it specifically starts with the President and that is made clear in the oath.

    My son, whether in or out of uniform, may not disparage anyone in his chain of command. Under Abe Beame the entire NYPD was in open revolt.

    I just read about the brouhaha during the Dinkins administration, when a cop shot a drug dealer in Washington Heights, and Dinkins had the city pay to fly the whole family to the Dominican for the funeral. Thousands of cops demonstrated, and COPS shut down the Brooklyn Bridge! ( How did I not remember that?) DeBlasio is getting off easy.

    • #18
    • December 30, 2014, at 6:01 PM PST
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  19. iDad Inactive

    Out of curiosity – how did most police union members vote in the last mayoral election?

    • #19
    • December 30, 2014, at 6:12 PM PST
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  20. Doug Watt Moderator

    I am old enough to remember the disrespect shown to Vietnam veterans as they returned home. I am also old enough to remember that as an Air Force ROTC student at a small Catholic university that we wore our uniforms every Friday at the beginning of the day until the last class ended in the early evening. I remember a visit that was scheduled to a state school and we were told not to wear our uniform’s because we might be assaulted.

    As a police officer you become part of something greater than yourself. I have literally run to the sound of gunfire with the full knowledge my fellow officers were doing the same thing I was and would do so for me in the event that I or a citizen was in danger. Mayor de Blasio has no history of running to gunfire. I do not say that to disparage the mayor. He needs to understand that all the NYPD Officers are asking for is two things. Respect, and not to be thrown under the bus to please the Al Sharpton’s, the media, and the mob. I am aware that officers make mistakes, and there are officers that should not be wearing a badge, but that is what investigations are for and until an investigation is completed Mayor de Blasio should avoid the cameras.

    Mayor de Blasio turned his back on the NYPD during his mayoral campaign and he turned his back on them during the Eric Garner investigation. The whirlwind he helped to sow only cost him a public display by NYPD Officers that gave him some embarrassment. The whirlwind he helped to sow cost two NYPD Officers their lives. The NYPD Officers are only giving the Mayor the same respect that he gave them.

    • #20
    • December 30, 2014, at 6:21 PM PST
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  21. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    Everyone knows that DeBlasio represents a cohort of people who were 1960s radicals, and that they all still think of police as pigs. It is well-known where his sympathies lie, and if he apologized it would be a hollow apology. “Sorry if I made you feel bad when I expressed my true feelings.”

    • #21
    • December 30, 2014, at 6:24 PM PST
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  22. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    There are regulations that forbid uniformed members of the military from making political statements or appearing at political events. This only applies while actually in uniform. I don’t know if anything similar restricts the NYPD, but I doubt it. Very few of the officers who turned their backs the first time appeared to be in uniform, and as far as I know there is no requirement to “face front” while the mayor is speaking.

    By the way, “you stink, DeBlasio” is an opinion, not a political statement.

    • #22
    • December 30, 2014, at 6:39 PM PST
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  23. Vicryl Contessa Thatcher

    In the South we call it a good, old fashioned Shunning (the ‘g’ is silent, btw).

    • #23
    • December 30, 2014, at 6:45 PM PST
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  24. Nick Stuart Inactive

    The comments here and elsewhere make it clear that there is not going to be a satisfactory answer to whether or not NYPD officers turning their backs on DeBlasio was or wasn’t the right thing to do.

    What we’re seeing is that there comes a point where people have simply had enough. When that happens, they will begin to push back. And the pushback, when it starts, may not be easy to contain.

    The Left pushes, pushes, pushes, and pushes. They never let up. They are never satisfied. They believe the ends justifies the means. Objective truth is not a value to them. They believe they can say anything no matter how incendiary, outrageous, or untruthful without any consequences.

    At some point there will be a reaction. We begin to see it in NYPD turning their backs on a Leftist who has trashed them and made their jobs more difficult. We see it in reports that the NYPD has dramatically cut back on making citations for minor offenses (e.g. the reappearance of three-card monte games on the streets of New York).

    Please God it doesn’t turn violent, but it may.

    • #24
    • December 30, 2014, at 6:45 PM PST
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  25. Nick Stuart Inactive

    Percival:By the way, “you stink, DeBlasio” is an opinion, not a political statement.

    Statement of fact perhaps, if he physically carries the odor of his ideology.

    • #25
    • December 30, 2014, at 6:47 PM PST
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  26. Al Sparks Thatcher

    I’m not sure it was the right thing, but I don’t think they did the wrong thing, unlike Rudolph Giuliani.

    Though they wear uniforms, and often referred to as “para-military”, the police don’t owe quite the same fealty to those in authority that members of the Armed Forces do. The oath of office, not only for commissioned police officers but all city employees in New York City (apparently) does not mention obedience to anyone, whether it’s to the officers appointed above, or the civilian leadership. I would be more likely to condemn the members of the U.S. military for that kind of conduct.

    The U.S. Military’s enlistment oath does mention “…and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me….” which does imply a higher level of fealty.

    And by the way, when I raised my right hand, and joined the Coast Guard years ago, I didn’t have to pay $9.00 for the privilege.

    Bizarre.

    • #26
    • December 30, 2014, at 7:01 PM PST
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  27. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    I fear that we are seeing the end of a relative safe New York. I suspect that we are going to see a return of the bad old day of the 70s and 80s, I guess that is what New Yorkers want.

    • #27
    • December 30, 2014, at 7:05 PM PST
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  28. EThompson Inactive

    Fake John Galt:I fear that we are seeing the end of a relative safe New York.I suspect that we are going to see a return of the bad old day of the 70s and 80s, I guess that is what New Yorkers want.

    Yep. ;(

    • #28
    • December 30, 2014, at 7:07 PM PST
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  29. M1919A4 Member
    M1919A4 Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Al Sparks:I’m not sure it was the right thing, but I don’t think they did the wrong thing, unlike Rudolph Giuliani.

    Though they wear uniforms, and often referred to as “para-military”, the police don’t owe quite the same fealty to those in authority that members of the Armed Forces do. The oath of office, not only for commissioned police officers but all city employees in New York City (apparently) does not mention obedience to anyone, whether it’s to the officers appointed above, or the civilian leadership. I would be more likely to condemn the members of the U.S. military for that kind of conduct.

    The U.S. Military’s enlistment oath does mention “…and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me….” which does imply a higher level of fealty.

    And by the way, when I raised my right hand, and joined the Coast Guard years ago, I didn’t have to pay $9.00 for the privilege.

    Bizarre.

    I think that the critical difference between the police (who are, despite their misuse of the term, “civilians” just as are the rest of us citizens) and the military services is that the military are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (the UCMJ), an entirely separate and distinct body of law, mostly criminal law. For example, no police officer can be prosecuted and shot for “desertion in the face of the enemy” or sent to prison for not showing up for a shift, as can a soldier who goes AWOL (my memory of the UCMJ is more than a bit dusty, but you get the point).

    The person in military service has a relationship to the state different in almost every particular from that of an employee to his employer. I’ve been both and I can tell you that the ability to say “take this job and shove it” and make it stick, which every policeman has, is quite a different thing from disobeying the lawful order of a superior.

    • #29
    • December 30, 2014, at 8:44 PM PST
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  30. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    Paul Kersey, call your office.

    • #30
    • December 30, 2014, at 9:11 PM PST
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