The New York Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA) wants the city’s cops to sign a petition requesting that Mayor Bill de Blasio and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito not be allowed to attend the funeral of an officer killed in the line of duty.
On the union’s webpage, the headline reads, “DON’T LET THEM INSULT YOUR SACRIFICE!” Then, “Download and sign a request that Mayor de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito stay away from your funeral in the event that you are killed in the line of duty.”
The president of the PBA, Pat Lynch has vociferously denounced de Blasio and Mark-Viverito for their criticism of the police force. Lynch has defended Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who triggered Eric Garner’s death when he tried to arrest him, and has bitterly criticized de Blasio for his lack of support for the police. Lynch also said that de Blasio’s comments vis-à-vis de Blasio’s son, Dante, who is biracial, after Garner’s death threw police “under the bus.” De Blasio had said he had to “worry over the years” and ask himself: “Is Dante safe each night? 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.”
Lynch wrote in the New York Post December 5:
Mayor de Blasio says he has “immense respect” for New York City police officers … But over the past year he has demonstrated time and again that, when it comes to conversations about how the men and women of the NYPD keep this city safe, he simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
Where was his “immense respect” in July, when he sat quietly through Rev. Al Sharpton’s outrageous comments about “perp walking” police officers?
Where has his “immense respect” been during the steady march of court decisions and legislative actions that have saddled police officers with increasing bureaucratic burdens and legal penalties for simply doing their jobs?
Where has his “immense respect” been as his administration has paid out millions to settle baseless lawsuits that smear the reputations of decent, “hard-working” police officers, rather than fighting them to their conclusion in court?
… His talk of “the police” and “the community” ignores the fact that so many New York City police officers are also residents of this city. We are both “the police” and “the community,” and we understand that when a law-abiding New Yorker and police officer interact, there needs to be respect and cooperation on both sides.
… If the mayor had any interest in demonstrating true leadership on the issue of police/community relations, he would break ranks with the self-serving agitators who have dominated the discussion so far. He would not just encourage but insist that the public give police officers not only the respect they have earned, but the support they need to continue to keep this city safe.
The petition that the PBA wants officers to sign reads:
Don’t Insult My Sacrifice
I, ______, as a New York City police officer, request that Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito refrain from attending my funeral services in the event that I am killed in the line of duty. Due to Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Mark-Viverito’s consistent refusal to show police officers the support and respect they deserve, I believe that their attendance at the funeral of a fallen New York City police officer is an insult to that officer’s memory and sacrifice.
Phil Walzak, a spokesman for Mr. de Blasio, whined, “This is deeply disappointing. Incendiary rhetoric like this serves only to divide the city, and New Yorkers reject these tactics.” He was echoed by Eric Koch, a spokesman for Ms. Mark-Viverito, who bleated, “The mayor and the speaker both know better than to think this inappropriate stunt represents the views of the majority of police officers and their families.”