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After Garner’s Death Declared a Homicide, NYPD Leaders Call Ruling ‘Political,’ Threaten Job Slowdown

PBA President Lynch, standing next to Mullins (right)

 Patrick Lynch, president of the New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, stands next to Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association (right).

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is coming under increased pressure from the New York Police Department, as the head of the police officers’ union, Patrick Lynch, blasted the medical examiner’s ruling that Eric Garner’s death was a homicide caused by a chokehold, calling it “political.”

Meanwhile, Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins made a thinly veiled threat that his members might slow their response times because of the city’s response to the Garner case.

“This is not a chokehold; a chokehold is a completely opposite tactic,” Mullins said Tuesday. Though the NYPD banned chokeholds 20 years ago, officers continue to use them.

Then Mullins addressed his members in what sounded like a threat of a slowdown: “We want you to do your job. We want you to follow the rule book the way it’s written. And if there’s a delay in getting to the next place, so be it.”

But de Blasio seemed unfazed by the threat.

“I’ve long since learned to listen respectfully to the words of union leaders,” the mayor said at a news conference Tuesday. “What I’m concerned about are the everyday folks who are there to do their jobs. If some union leaders want to speak out, 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.”

While early stories had suggested that Garner died at the hospital of a heart attack and police supporters claimed that his weight was the main reason for his death, the medical examiner’s office was clear, finding “compression of neck (chokehold), compression of chest, and prone positioning during physical restraint by police” killed Garner — though the office did add that Garner’s obesity, diabetes, sleep apnea and asthma were contributing conditions to his death.

In ruling that the manner of death was homicide, the medical examiner is not offering any conclusions about whether Officer Daniel Pantaleo committed a crime when he put the 43-year-old Garner in a chokehold. The office is merely stating that Garner died at the hands of another person or persons.

“I’ve never seen a document that was more political than that press release released by the ME’s office,” Lynch said, telling reporters that Garner had been warned by officers the week before his death to stop selling loose cigarettes — though witnesses claimed Garner had not been selling cigarettes when the cops began to harass him.

Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, said race did not play any role in the confrontation, as many have alleged, including the Rev. Al Sharpton.

“It is a person’s behavior that leads to interactions with police, not who they are, what they look like or how much money they have in their pocket,” Lynch said.

After Lynch said Pantaleo had not used a chokehold on Garner, despite the video evidence, de Blasio defended the city medical examiner’s office. He said the city’s medical examiner’s office is the “gold standard in this country.”

Both de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton have said it appears a chokehold was used.

In a related development, Richard Emery, the new chairman of the Civilian Complaint Review Board, the police watchdog agency, said the board will re-examine all complaints of illegal chokeholds used by police officers over the past five years. He said there were about 1,000 complaints about chokeholds in that period, and 608 were not investigated.

“We hope we can better advise the police department to enforce the patrol guide standard,” he said.

What people are saying

22 thoughts on “After Garner’s Death Declared a Homicide, NYPD Leaders Call Ruling ‘Political,’ Threaten Job Slowdown

  1. Then Mullins addressed his members in what sounded like a threat of a slowdown: “We want you to do your job. We want you to follow the rule book the way it’s written. And if there’s a delay in getting to the next place, so be it.” How is it possible that this man can threaten a slow response by his officers as a means of disagreeing with Mr. Garner’s cause of death? Mr. Mullens should be terminated. He sounds like a mobster, who has decided to put a hit out on all those folks who may be in distress, as he reins his boys in, effectively telling them to stand by and do nothing. We witnessed the stand by and do nothing mentality as Mr. Garner lay lifeless on the street
    Police officers are sworn to protect and serve not harass and murder. It is because of Mr. Mullen’s blatant disregard for lives especially that of Blacks in America that there are so many deaths at the hands of the police. They do not need improved diversity training, human beings should know how to treat other human beings – does that need to be taught? Treat people humanely regardless of their socioeconomic status, color, sex etc… They need to realize the people they are sworn to protect and serve are demanding they do their job professionally, with integrity and with a high regard for human life.
    Again, this union rep should be fired asap!

  2. Qdown Dale says:

    police officers are not and where not ever here to protect black folks. infact the first officers were created to watch slaves. I dont understand how here in todays light of information we are still confused and baffled by their actions. Black folks have been asking to be treated as humans sense they got off the slave ships IT AINT WORKING! Until we get some economic power to hire people to get iin some of these political chairs and we have our own wealth, keep that passage you have there saved…youll be sharing it forever.

  3. Qdown Dale The law, the constitution, the police have never been protective of Blacks. It was their job to look the other way, pull the hoses etc … we know the history and that continues today. I understand that perfectly and you are correct we need wealth, and political clout to combat the evils perpetrated upon our communities. Also understanding part of the mentality that kept slavery and its establishment alive was the dehumanizing of the Black man – and that continues today. However, my point is this man; Mr. Mullens represents the establishment now. He is speaking in generalities concerning all citizens. He should not be allowed to make veiled threats against anyone. He needs to be removed, until we start demanded accountability consistently, from all folks these issues and threats and racist antics will remain.

  4. Qdown Dale says:

    ok and you can save that one too because you will be sharing it again. Your opinion does not speak for reality, it will not change reality, its just an opinion. Blacks need to understand our feelings and opinions change nothing, we have to be REALISTIC about the situation. And Mr Mullen is keeping the tradition alive like everything else that has been kept in place to keep us down. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT? because we know whats right and whats wrong, they do to, but black folks need to learn you cant come from a social site opinion to get anything; you have to come from a place of power and an opinion onhow whites hould do things is not power at all. ijs

  5. Sundiata Keita says:

    this is a trick white people play that you all need to learn. in that interview he says that the man was NOT choked out. but if you watch the video, with your own eyes you see he's choked to death.
    pay attention to that in the future yall. white people always tell you something different is going on, than what you see with your own eyes.

  6. Fyjaw Main says:


  7. Estelle Clark says:

    I disagree. There is not need to examine an illegal chokehold that should not be administered in the first place. The weight, health, etc of the person in the hold is irrelevant. THE CHOKE HOLD IS ILLEGAL regardless if it is performed on a 21 year in perfect health or a 80 obese person. The bottom line is that it is illegal and should not be used. PERIOD.

  8. Estelle Clark says:

    This is not even a veiled threat. This is actually suggesting that they slow down as a way or retaliating againt the public for the atrocity committed by Office Pantaleo in taking Eric Griffins life. It wash a choke hold in deed.

  9. Fyjaw Main says:

    I apologize sister, Myself i was being sarcastic and real, i would like them to feel what every victim feel when these techniques are used. passionately and aggressively on sometimes innocent people taking videos,jaywalking nothing. That's what i was referring too!.

  10. Keith Têtu High says:

    A perfect example of the bitch ass NYPD thinking they are above the law. Fuck you pigs.

  11. Shawn Mc says:

    if all the police leave the black areas would black people be capable of securing their own neighborhoods?

  12. Reginald Dye says:

    What's worse?????? Who are those sellout negroes in the background????

  13. Chris Bryant says:

    If they actually got rid of drugs I think black people would be fine. But too many jobs will be lost if that happened…..

  14. Yes !!!…, There such a thing as Black police officers, lawyers, judges, prosecutors etc.

  15. AljoniMusiCo says:

    Slowdown? Actually, it's time for a showdown. Cops need to stop goin' wild and blame shifting.

  16. Christopher Muhammad says:

    The devil is a LIAR

  17. Christopher Muhammad says:

    The devil is a LIAR

  18. Carolyn Hicks Steele says:

    This is not about demanding respect for the slain or his family. This is about stealing the family's audience to pass on an agenda.

  19. Ann Eds says:

    Marcia Judkins The Constitution wasn't written for black people. The Constitution was written ONE HUNDRED YEARS before the emancipation proclamation was signed.

  20. Ann Eds says:

    Chris Bryant I live in a primarily all black neighborhood in NY, right off of a high trafficked shopping district. Very rarily, if ever do you see a police car. I hear ambulances and fire trucks run through here, but that's usually a lunch or dinner run. I don't know what it's like in other states, but it seems to me the Bronx, in just about every area I've lived in has been crime free. It looks nothing like the pictures I've seen of it from the 70s 80s. Why do white people think black people need to be guarded, contained, and controlled? It's because they fear RETALIATION for the horrors of the past that their ancestors and they caused with their Jim Crow laws.

  21. Ann Eds says:

    To stop the exposure of NYPD as the only gang to be feared.

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