Inflammatory remarks made by NYPD union president Patrick Lynch over the past many weeks of sometimes fatal tension between police officers and private citizens are grounds for dismissal from the force, retired NYPD Detective Graham Weatherspoon says.
Weatherspoon made his remarks on “Democracy Now!” on Monday during a segment titled “Calls for Calm After NYPD Union Says Mayor, Protesters Have Blood on Their Hands for Cops’ Murder.”
In a news conference at Woodhull Medical Center after the slaying of NYPD Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos on Saturday, Lynch, who is president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, continued his antagonistic campaign against critics of the NYPD by blaming the deaths of the officers on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and demonstrators exercising their constitutional right to protest NYPD actions.
Lynch told reporters there was “blood on [the] hands [of] those that incited violence on the street under the guise of protest … [blood] on the steps of city hall, in the office of the mayor.”
Weatherspoon said of Lynch’s remarks: “Pat Lynch is throwing gasoline on the flames. I think that he should take time to consider what he’s saying. I understand he’s a union leader. His job is to promote the welfare and the benefits for his members. But this doesn’t fall at the feet of City Hall. This is a societal issue.”
Of the comments that Weatherspoon says could get Lynch fired, the retired detective said, “[Lynch] had said a while back, and quite prophetically, he said, ‘If a police officer is shot, [the mayor or the police commissioner] will not be welcome at the funeral.’ Well, that was a reprehensible statement. And Pat is going to have to—I think Commissioner Bratton is going to have to sit down with him and rein him in. Pat Lynch is a member of the New York City Police Department. And to bring adverse criticism against the department is grounds for dismissal. So, he will only be a union president as long as he is a member of the police department. He is still a police officer. And I’m sure that Mayor de Blasio is going to sit down with Commissioner Bratton, and the three of them are going to have to come to terms.”
Weatherspoon also criticized the distorted perspectives that inherited culture, the mainstream press and prejudiced or near-sighted officials have given to the public.
“We can’t broad-brush anybody. Blacks have been broad-brushed in the society. Latinos have been broad-brushed. All groups have been broad-brushed. And there are some outstanding police officers out there, and some of them I know personally, you know, and they’re not happy about what has transpired with the situation in Staten Island and in other cities, because it casts a dim light on police officers.
“So, the death of Eric Garner, we’re waiting for the grand jury, all these things—I don’t think that the general public in New York City is looking to go into a violence mode. Protest is the right, it’s the constitutional right of the people, and we have to remember that. It’s not a matter of being policed to the point where you are now under a lockdown by the department, whether it’s New York City or any other city. People have the right to protest and make their voice heard to the political entities who are required to set policy and procedures.”
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.