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Head of Police Union Declares War on Protesters After NYPD Cops 'Assassinated'

Alexander Reed Kelly
Associate Editor
In December 2010, Alex was arrested for civil disobedience outside the White House alongside Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges, Pentagon whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg, healthcare activist Margaret Flowers and…
Alexander Reed Kelly

    Patrick Lynch, head of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, speaks during a news conference at Woodhull Medical Center on Saturday. AP/John Minchillo

Two NYPD officers were killed Saturday in what a tearful New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio described as “execution style” as they sat in a patrol car in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn.

The man identified as the gunman, 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley, shot and killed himself after shooting officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos. The Guardian quoted NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, whose voice cracked with emotion during a news conference at Woodhull Medical Center, as saying that Brinsley had made “very anti-police” postings on the social media site Instagram.

Observers partial to police were already blaming the recent uprising against police racism and violence in response to the killings this year of black American men Eric Garner and Michael Brown. The Guardian reported Sunday:

The killings sparked an angry outburst from the leader of the city’s main police union, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association. Pat Lynch, president of the PBA, appeared to blame the deaths on the protesters who have taken to the streets of New York in recent weeks and on de Blasio, the mayor.

In a fiery press conference outside the hospital doors, Lynch said there was “blood on their 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”.

“When these funerals are over,” said Lynch, “those responsible will be called on to the carpet and held accountable.”

Earlier this month, Lynch blamed the death of Garner, who died from a heart attack after being seized in what legal experts described as an illegal chokehold by NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, on Garner’s resistance to arrest.

The Sergeants Benevolent Association, a sibling organization of the PBA, echoed Lynch’s statements on Twitter.

Local television news showed police officers apparently turning their back on the mayor, The Guardian reported.

Liu and Ramos were killed shortly before 3 p.m. in their parked patrol car near the Tompkins Houses public housing development. De Blasio told reporters, “Our city is in mourning. … Our hearts are heavy. We lost two good men who devoted their lives to protect the city they loved. Our hearts go out to their families, to their comrades in arms at the 84th Precinct, to the family of the NYPD.”

Bratton said that earlier in the day in Baltimore County, Md., Brinsley had shot and wounded a woman thought to have been his girlfriend.

Read more here.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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