Speaking Friday on WNYC radio, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio described anti-police sentiment as a ‘right wing conspiracy theory.’
“The right wing in this town continues to try and dredge up the notion that people in this city are being negative towards the police,” said De Blasio. In reality, NYPD officers are “being respected [and] empowered to do their job,” he added.
Speaking in response to the mayor’s comments, police union head Ed Mullins said he would follow Iowa’s lead in ignoring de Blasio.
“I am going to treat the mayor the same way the people of Iowa did and totally ignore his comments,” said Mullins. “I’m going to take a lesson from the people of Iowa. It seems to have worked for them, for the whole country,” he said, referring to de Blasio’s short-lived presidential campaign.
This year has been particularly trying for NYPD officers. All summer, they were plagued by punks attacking them with buckets of water. In September, reports confirmed that complaints against the department had reached a 5-year high, growing 20% since last year.
De Blasio claimed the complaints were a sign of “deepening” relations between police and civilians.
Last Friday, November 29th, thousands of people attended a protest in Brooklyn with signs reading “F**K the police” and “Punch that cop.” Ten NYPD officers have committed suicide this year.
“The message is that there are no consequences for your actions,” argues former NYPD sergeant Joseph Giacalone, referring to prosecutors’ reluctance to punish citizens who act out against police officers. “You’re a victim of society and you’re a victim of racism. And the police are the enemy because they are the tool they use to oppress you. That’s basically the message that has been filtered down.”
Author’s Note: De Blasio is just plain wrong. For years, America has been struggling with a widespread disconnect between police and civilians – with protestors accusing police of racism, corruption, and abuse of power. Disrespect towards police is not a conservative problem or a liberal problem, but a collection of prejudices that affects police and civilians throughout the nation.
Unfortunately, de Blasio would rather blame the problem on Republicans than actually do anything about it.