Sunday, December 21, 2014

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The Call Blog: Police Unions Defend Officers, Challenge Mayor De Blasio

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As one caller said, Pat Lynch is just doing what he is paid to do, which is represent the officers. No matter what, a person is dead and the tape is compelling in all that it shows - and all that it doesn't. I can't imagine the ME's office being political in a case which is clearly caught on tape.

In a spirited defense, the presidents of two police unions defended the officers who were on the scene during Eric Garner's attempted arrest. At a news conference today, PBA President Pat Lynch disagreed that the 43-year-old Staten Island man was placed in a chokehold and called the Medical Examiner's report "political." Lynch added, "It is outrageously insulting to all police officers to say that we go out on our streets to choke people of color."

The police unions challenged Mayor de Blasio to "support cops unequivocally" and educate New Yorkers not to resist arrest. De Blasio today dismissed the idea that cops may purposely slow down their emergency responses by saying, "I’ve heard plenty from union leaders over the years, but the rank and file are here to do their job and they will do their job." What do you say?

What's your reaction to the comments from police union representatives today? Was Eric Garner placed in a chokehold or did it only appear that way because "a shorter officer had to bring a bigger man to the ground?" Are you concerned cops will slow down their responses to protest negative feedback from New Yorkers?

Send your thoughts using the link above.

I believe there are good and bad in every profession. One bad apple Should Not spoil the whole bunch !!!

Just as the public finds one bad teacher and therefore we are all bad -- NOT!!!

The involved cops should not ruin the whole police department since many many police officers do an awesome job each and every day.

Our unions have to work hard to keep our image shining. Get rid of the bad and let the rest of us continue doing our jobs with dignity and respect to our professions.

Arden Heights

Who is playing politics here Mr. Lynch, a chokehold is a chokehold and anyone without a biased viewpoint saw it that way, and the medical examiner confirmed that Mr. Garner died as a result of that chokehold, Mr. Lynch needs to stop making excuses and agree that police officers need to be retrained when dealing with minor infractions, especially in communities of color, who are the focus of their broken window policy.

Bay Ridge

Beyond a doubt, their primary job seems to be over policing black communities. You can't get what you don't look for& it's a fact that they do not troll other communities looking for trouble, so therefor there is a disproportionate amount of incidents reported via media in black neighborhoods. John, seriously- dragging a nearly naked older black woman in her apartment hallway, it would have never happened to a white woman under any circumstance.

Springfield Gardens

PBA President Pat Lynch needs to get a grip. All he’s doing is making thing worse. The cops are not above thew law. If they break it, they should be held accountable just like anyone else.


I would like to know what happened before this incident with Eric Garner. What type of call was sent and why so many cops just to arrest him? I'm curious because everyone is telling the same story and it seems that the conclusion is being made by this cell phone film alone. Seems as though everyone is playing judge and jury and in my estimation it's just to cut and dry and in the midst of everything we have Sharpton and I believe he should just stay out of it instead of playing the role of an alarmist. Many of us that work for civil service or private industry and the jobs are unionized we all have a rep just like Lynch has and they do represent us and they are just doing their jobs.

Morris Park

We all saw the videotape, #99 did have Mr Garner in a chokehold that's why he was saying he couldn't breathe. The NYPD union is mad because someone videotaped the cops using the illegal chokehold. The Staten Island DA should bring charges against the cops and EMT's that left Mr Garner on the street to die they deserve jailtime


It's hard to believe that Pat Lynch insists that Mr. Garner was not put in a chokehold when we are watching it with our own eyes. Does he think that the public is blind?

The politics behind this case is getting intense and the PBA is feeling the pressure which is why they threaten to do every job by the books (slowdown). Personally I think that every job should be done by the book; Mr. Garner would be alive today if the police officers followed the Patrol Guide. NO CHOKEHOLDS.

Midtown East

I'm disgusted with the police department & the police union. Giving a cop that already has a pattern of documented abuse the Bebe fit of the doubt & giving press conferences on Garner's health & leading people to believe that this is why he died. They don't respect anyone. It doesn't matter wether they are white, black or Latino. They behave with such superior attitudes. They are supposed to protect the people who pay their salary. They didn't have to use such harsh force (choke hold). They are murderers. Garner may have been over weight & asthmatic but really, they murdered him! The medical examiner has done his job. Now we need the District Attorney to do his job & prosecute these cops to the best of their ability. In addition, the cops always over react when it comes to arresting minorities.

Iris from Chelsea

Patrick Lynch is an unadulterated apologist for the cops. They can do no wrong in his eyes. In my opinion he is a pure POS.

Port Richmond

The sight of those angry men really frightened me today. What are they going to do next? Kill the Medical Examiner? We don't live in a fascist dictatorship in which citizens need to fear law enforcement but I am really afraid of the police now. According to Pat Lynch, any police officer has the right to arrest anyone for any reason, and if we question this, we deserve to get killed. I don't want to walk outside my door. I think all of this is aimed at preparing the public for acquittal.

Susana, Sunset Park

Can you imagine what would happen if six or seven black cops put a white woman in a choke hold for resisting arrest for selling loose cigarettes? What would Pat Lynch be saying then??? ("The situation is under investigation. We have no further comment at this time")

Tom from Harlem

Thank God NYPD has a strong; caring; and compassionate Union Leader like Patrick Lynch, because lord knows if New York City Correction Officers were caught up in this ugly ordeal, they would be sitting in jail, waiting to be sentenced.


Pat lynch and Ed Mullins should be applauded. Police officers respond to multiple disputes, edps in progress crimes. Without incident. Each day Al sharpton has a taunted history and is a criminal. He should pay his taxes.

Mike from bayside

enough with this sharpton is a villain ...OUT
Sharpton is thug , never forget 2 decade ago
De Blasio is weak , and Sharpton is on charge ; therefore , the city is divided

west side

I'm so tired of being tired. SHAME ON ALL OF THEM. I really and truly pray NewYorker's unite and protest in unity until justice is served. Mr. Eric Garner didn't deserved to die. Mr. Garner's family should not be in mourning and we should not be divided on this issue.


Pat Lynch should be FIRED! He doesn’t respect Comm. Bratton! This is his supervisor! I would also like to know is an investigation going to be done on the forging of police ID? This is a action that is illegal & a cause for termination. ( Putting Sharpton’s face on a ID stating he was Police Commissioner)

Crystal- Red Hook

Clearly it was a choke hold, the officers arm was around Mr. Gardner's neck as he swung him to the ground. These Police Unions need to stop trying to defend the Guilty, Rouge Cops, and support change within the Police System. You can not justify Murder.

Upper West Side

Pat Lynch really makes me sick. He and the PBA are so in denial, it's staggering! We as citizens are not anti-police. We just want fair treatment. Weather if you're black or white! Lynch, wake up!

Morningside Heights

I dont agree with the pba response that the medical examiner's finding was political,it was just a finding that
The pba didnt agree with.if eric gardner died from complications from.diabetes the pba would of hailed the findings

Far Rockaway

Patrick Lynch always jumps on his soapbox when a person of color is the victim of police brutality. Actor Alec Baldwin expresses and displays contempt for NYPD every other month (he told a sentencing judge last week that he'd rather pay a fine than apologize to the female officers he berated for issuing him a summons). Lynch has never criticized Baldwin for a multitude of transgressions. He probably would seek his autograph.

Brooklyn Heights

Pat Lynch represents the very same police officers that are part of the bad bunch. He never gives press conferences when officers are found of wrong doing, by letting members know certain things should not be tolerated as a member. Scratching my head.

James, Harlem

The police were doing their job and Garner refused to comply and he resisted arrest. When the public doesn't support the police we are doomed as a civilized society.

The police were justified. unfortunately someone died as a result of their failure to follow the directions of the police.

Breezy Point

I understand the union's primary responsibility is to represent the officers interest, however when something so obvious is caught on video and then you try and explain that we are not seeing what we saw comes off as disingenuous and insulting to our intelligence.

Rego Park

If the video is watched carefully the officer originally places one arm underneath Mr garners underarm and across his body....due to the sheer size difference and during the struggle i think the officers arms were then placed in a different position which did go across his throat.....i don't think the officer intended to go near his throat. ...I agree with PBA leader on several points. ....I think if officers had tasers this never would have happened....Mr garner could have had a small electic all shock and handcuffed rapidly. ..
Condolences to the family of Eric garner
Good luck to the officer.
Bill Diblasio.......can't wait till your term is up


As Commissioner Bratton stated the union has a right to their opinion but not to make up their own facts. The fact is that the medical examiner determined that Mr. Garner's death was caused from the choking. Who is pat lynch to say they are wrong and its political.In other words they are lying? The fact is that the mayor and commissioner called a meeting with the clergy and rev. Sharpton had a right to be there. Lastly there were 8 police officers there they could have brought him down without killing him and laughing into the video after killing him. How do you defend that Patrick lynch!?

Dee Harlem

Slowing down the response time of the police will show the kind of "protection" we have in New York. It's not like their response time now is great. 4+ hours I waited for a response during my accident.

Navin from Queens

The NYPD finds all of their shootings and killings justifiable, merely because they are" the NYPD". Tragically it places them more than above the law; they have become " the law" ...

The facts are now being deluded regarding the death of a man who it appears was killed for his prior offenses, because we have yet to see any cigarettes, or the buyer of the so called "loose cigarette" he was being arrested and murdered for....


I live on the Lower East Side and have witnessed interaction between police and residents. I believe that some police persons are out of control.But I also believe that most of these low level quality of life crimes are committed by persons of color. Any one who denies that is a liar Sadly it is time that we all take responsibility for these terrible incidents. As for Sharpton. He should back off and stop milking a terrible situation for his own purposes. As for Lynch he should go away & stop his foolishness. Mr. Garner was no boy scout. But the cops over reacted and a man is dead.

A.J. Lower East Side

Just by watching the video anyone can see that the body language of the officers is aggressive. He looked upset but not violent. Why couldn't the officers verbally tell him he was arrested or ticket him before jumping on him? Also, I think it's terrible how Al Sharpton is using this death to champion his own political platform. Yes, police conduct needs to be under investigation but this isn't a clear cut example of the NYPD.


Pat Lynch has lost all credibility with the residents of NY. Not a choke hold, he says. Is he joking? Garner was unarmed, not engaging in any activity or exhibiting aggressive behavior to warrant his murder. He merely objected to ongoing harassment and false arrests. It should never have gone down like it did. He was sucker-choked, jumped from behind, no less. New Yorkers are outraged that the officers' conduct rose to a greater level of crime than that of selling loosies. It's indefensible. They were not hired to be judges and executioners. Resorting to blaming the victim who cannot defend himself is just plain cowardice. Shame on you, Lynch!

Lily from Harlem

With over 20 years of martial arts training in judo, jui-jutsu and greco-roman wrestling.
It was without a doubt a it was a deliberate choke that is designed to cause death, paralysis or permanent damage.
The officer should be arrested and 12 people decide his fate.


Everyone has got to take a deep breath.

Honestly, why did Mr. Gardner resist arrest? He should have known better.

The public should not judge all police officers by the rotten acts of a rogue officer or officers. Similarly, the Police Union has to put aside the one-for-all mentality when a fellow office is wrong.

Finally, unless the medical examiner was drunk, why doubt his findings?

Peggy, Wash. Hts.

The motto of the police badge is to protect and serve, but somehow the police union seems to think that means protect police officers first and citzens second. The union seems to believe that every situation requires brute force, and diplomacy is not part of their job. We have witness this before in the Sean bell case and now this one. The police union seems to think that the police force has no professional responsibility in ensuring that know civilian lives are lost. These officers need to be trained to defuse situations using conversation as their first source specially when dealing with low level crimes. Take examples from the British, Chinese, and Japanese police forces.


It's all about trying to keep the status quo of NYPD cops killing people.
They have become criminals in uniform.
I am a former cop and these people are saying it's ok to kill Eric and anyone else It's about time to put cops that kill in jail especially in this case The coroners ruling is correct the DA should charge all those cops and the jury should find them guilty I can't believe the PBA and SBA would insult our intelligence


NYPD outta control they been outta control! Striking down stop & frisk was a major blow to their unbridled control over black& latino community! That could have been my son! Not happy & feeling unsafe! Handcuffing a half naked women at her door. Not one of those policemen thought to act and control the situation and let the woman get dressed! What in the world is going on! Horrifying!


I am responding to Carlos from Williamsburg. I don't see on the video where Mr. Garner resisted arrest with force. He appears to be talking to them. Why did it require such force for a man selling loose cigarettes?


How exactly can a choke hold be the cause of death? Mr. Garner was breathing on scene. Dead people don't breathe. EMS dropped the ball on scene. The medical examiner did the cop and the NYPD favor. Any lawyer worth his law degree will tear that medical examiners report to pieces.


Police need to be supervised just like anyone else, they talk on their cell phones while driving, they break every law they swear to uphold. They have lost respect for the community and for the people they have to protect and serve. To be searched for no reason, to be harassed is senseless.
We will bring justice to our community if we start looking out for each other.


It's so unreal to me that I see comments online that people are on the side of criminals than police and always dropping the race card. It's A Shame That A Criminal Died While Resisting Arrest But Al sharpton Is only gonna cause trouble. The area is a known drug and thug area. It needs more cops and less crime.


Just heard that "Cop" Carlos from Williamsburg call and state his point. HOW DARE HIM! His tone alone was very stern and almost demanding... as if thou he and all his fellow cops have the last call and can do ANYTHING- by any means necessary- to bring down a person that is not complying or following their "ORDERS". It's disturbing to hear a cop say- I'm sorry for their lost, but that's the name of the game!!! HE SHOULD BE ASHAME!

The NYPD is a cult and it's a really powerful one because they are GRANTED that power- Choke holds, murders of un armed teens, any kind of disrespect to any of these armed and badged bullies is a lost for the individual on the receiving end. Just like Keith just mentioned these cops are aggressive, they are demanding, demeaning, they disrespect everyone at any time, similar to his situation I have heard numerous people relate to the verbal and physical abuse by the police. They should be there to protect and serve. They are doing the complete opposite and hurting our people. It's not a black or white or Latino's The Power of the Badge granted to these men and women in uniform. It has got to STOP!

New York

I'm a white cop who grew up in the bronx......when I was a w rookie cop 15 years ago I was assigned to the south Bronx housing .....i said hello to.a 3 or 4 year old black girl ...the little girl said hello back to me....the mother smacked her but hard and said I told u not to talk to the police..........i have no idea how to solve the relationship between Police and Community.


The police union's defiance pits them against city officials. They're creative in thinking up excuses and misdirection. This will worsen relations between cops and citizens. Their stance is against the rule of law, as was out of control stop and frisk. Many cops did not like their stop and frisk quotas, and I'm sure some disagree now with the union leadership on Garner's death.

Meredith in Manhattan

I really wonder how many NYPD officers are from NYC? My theory is that too many cops are hired from outside the city, ( Long Island, for example ) and they are scared, terrified, and judgemental of minorities they haven't grown up around. Only NYC residents should be NYPD officers.
Thank you,


I'm sorry but Mr. Gardner did not resist arrest. His hands were up and he did not struggle with the cops. This man was 6'3 360 pounds and could have thrown the officers off him and fought but he did not.

Patrick Lynch is a spokesperson for the Union and is a disgrace as a person who cannot see what reality is.

Police as a whole are good but I do believe we still have a divide as far as race is concerned. There is a different way of policing African Americans and Latinos from White.


I think that the police are out of control. What about the elderly women that was taken outvof her home with no clothes.
I am now afraid to leave my elderly sick mother home. The police in this case went to the wrong apartment. Please try and address this issue.
I pray that you get this email. I never thought that I would have to worry about calling the people who are paid tovprotect you. Thanks.


The PBA to say ,This wasn't a choke hold," how could you justify this. Are they going to say it's a hug? UNBELIEVABLE


This whole incident is an unfortunate tragedy. However, there is NO denying that Eric Gardener's actions caused his own death. You do not resist arrest and/or behave like he was; particularly when you are clearly in violation of the law. The use of force to bring Mr. Gardener to the ground was arguably disproportionate but the idea that the police should be charged with murder and/or manslaughter is absurd. There was absolutely no intent on the police's part to kill Eric Gardener.

This incident heightens the need to revisit the way police officers are taught to use control methods. In this case, one can argue that there was no need to hold Mr. Gardener's neck. He was totally out numbered; officers could have easily held both of his hands and apply compliance force...and pretty much get him into a pair of handcuffs.


everyone of those police officers should be in jail for murder they was wrong

Chiquita from the lower eastside Manhattan ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP