Leaders of two police unions had some strong words Tuesday over what they are calling anti-police rhetoric in the wake of the death of Eric Garner last month.
Speaking to reporters in Lower Manhattan, Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch discussed what he calls an attitude that says it's acceptable to resist arrest, and urged officers to be cautious.
"The lack of respect for law enforcement resulting from the slanderous, insulting and unjust manner in which police officers are being portrayed by race baiters, politicians, pundits and even our elected officials," Lynch said.
Lynch also disputed the medical examiner's report that said a chokehold killed Garner during his arrest on July 17 and ripped critics who say police target minority communities.
"It is outrageously insulting to all police officers to say that we go out on our streets to choke people of color, as Al Sharpton stated while seated right next to our mayor at City Hall," Lynch added.
"A cause of death of homicide is purely the way a person died, it’s not a criminal charge, it places no blame on anyone but yet we’re calling for a murder charge," said Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins.
The PBA response comes as controversy continues to swirl around the case now that the man who shot the original video of his arrest is in a Rikers jail cell on weapons charges.
Family members say the timing of Ramsey Orta's arrest is no coincidence.
The 22-year-old Orta was arraigned Monday on weapons charges.
He was unable to make bail and was transferred to Rikers Island.
He is due back in court on Friday.
Orta was arrested on Staten Island over the weekend when police say officers saw him tucking this handgun into the waistband of a 17-year-old girl.
Orta's family members were trying to fight back tears as they left the court house.
His wife maintains that the whole thing is a set up.
While the NYPD investigates, Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who subdued Garner, has been stripped of his gun and badge and placed on modified duty.
Web Extra: Full Press Conference
TWC News: PBA Blasts "Anti-Police Rhetoric" After Eric Garner Death
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