A New York state police union leader lashed out at the media and what he believes is an anti-cop agenda.
New York State Association of PBAs President Mike O’Meara accused the media and politicians of vilifying law enforcement during a news conference in Manhattan on Tuesday.
“We all read in the paper all week that in the Black community, mothers are worried about their children getting home from school without being killed by a cop,” O’Meara said. “What world are we living in? That doesn’t happen. It does not happen! Everybody’s trying to shame us. Legislators. The press. Everybody’s trying to shame us into being embarrassed of our profession.”
The country has been gripped in anti-police brutality protests since George Floyd was killed on Memorial Day. Floyd died after former officer Derek Chauvin pressed a knee into his neck for more than eight minutes. O’Meara believes Floyd’s death was an isolated incident and should not be used to indict the entire law enforcement community.
“This isn’t stained by someone in Minneapolis. It still has a shine on it,” O’Meara said while holding his badge. He implored viewers to “stop treating us like animals and thugs and start treating us with some respect.”
“That’s what we’re here today to say. We’ve been left out of the conversation. We’ve been vilified. It’s disgusting,” O’Meara said.
O’Meara argued most interactions between police and civilians are “overwhelmingly positive.” He also brought up cops who died while on duty.
“Nobody talks about all the police officers that were killed in the last week in the United States of America and there were a number of them,” he said.
A clip of O’Meara’s speech was viewed more than 25 million times on Twitter.
“They have earned everything that is coming to them…. PERIOD They have behaved just in the past two weeks like violent gang members. Imagine what they act like without cameras and people around??” wrote one Twitter user.
“The lack of self-awareness is kinda jaw-dropping. What he’s saying IS PRECISELY WHAT BLACK PEOPLE ARE SAYING TO THEM. Jesus. WTF is wrong with these people??” wrote another critic.
“The sheer audacity of being outraged over being treated like ‘animals and thugs’ when that is literally how they treat us down to the exact words they us to describe Black people is just hilariously pathetic. There is no reform possible for this,” wrote another.
The New York transit cop veteran took his cause to Fox News after the news conference. O’Meara appeared on “The Story with Martha MacCallum” to explain why he was so emotional.
“I’ve been a police officer for 30 years and that’s not us. That’s not us. You know, I’m, I’m reading things that don’t happen in the real world,” he explained. “And they’re becoming part of this urban lore that just doesn’t exist. And, you know, we get emotional about it. You know, we try to do a good job.”
He told host Martha MacCallum he believed Chauvin should be punished for killing Floyd.
“Derek Chauvin is going to go to jail for the rest of his life for what he did and he should,” he said. O’Meara believes police officers should be treated like community members instead of a menace.
“And we can’t keep saying that the police [are] systemic racist … thugs that are out there,” O’Meara said. “We are not. We are not. We are your friends. We’re your family. We are your neighbors. We’re the coaches of your children. And we come to your homes. And we come to your problems. And we come when you’re sick and we come when you’re having an issue and we try to be the good person and try to be the person that helps out in that situation.”