by Kerry Picket| June 09, 2020
Rank-and-file New York Police Department officers say they are ready to leave the force, claiming no one has their backs amid nationwide efforts to restrict law enforcement.
Since widespread protests erupted in New York City last week following the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died while in the custody of Minneapolis police, NYPD officers have endured 12-hour shifts in response to violence, destruction of retail property, burglary, and the vandalism of NYPD vehicles.
“At our level, It’s hard to say, but in the past, you felt like chiefs like [Joseph] Esposito had your back. Even Ray Kelly. Without Rudy [Giuliani], or even with [Michael] Bloomberg, things have changed,” an NYPD sergeant told the Washington Examiner, invoking NYPD chiefs from the past couple of decades and the two most recent mayors of the nation’s largest city.
Giuliani, who was mayor for eight years starting in 1994, became known as a law-and-order leader of the city, with the help of NYPD officials Kelly and Esposito, following an era of high crime rates. Bloomberg largely continued Giuliani’s policies with the NYPD. However, following the election of Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2013, the relationship between the NYPD and the mayor’s office deteriorated rapidly.
Former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik claimed Sunday on Fox News that hundreds of NYPD officers are leaving the force out of frustration with the department’s treatment of the city’s law enforcement.
“The rumor is over 600 went to pension,” the NYPD sergeant said. “I have less uniformed cops by me.”
“The [Sergeants Benevolent Association] and the thousands I’ve sent them provide me with a lawyer and dental plan. Very important. No one else will back us at this point. Chiefs taking knees and humiliating themselves,” said the NYPD sergeant, referencing NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan taking a knee with protesters last week.
SBA President Ed Mullins says New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, de Blasio, and NYPD upper management have treated the rank and file poorly.
“There’s protests throughout the city almost every single year, like Occupy Wall Street,” Mullins said. “But in my 16 years, this is, by far, probably the worst I’ve seen from upper management.”
Mullins elaborated on the problems, saying, “Honestly, we feel alone out there.” He recalled, “You go out and spend 17 hours on this day, and then you check your phone, and you have certain members of Congress, the governor, the mayor, and they’re saying that we’re not doing a good job,” Mullins said.
“I personally know three close friends who wanted to do between two to three more years that retired last week, as they’ve had enough with a radical mayor and spineless police leaders,” former NYPD homicide detective Rob O’Donnell told the Washington Examiner.
Others tell the Washington Examiner that NYPD officers are leaving because of too often being under the microscope by the Civilian Complaint Review Board, the Internal Affairs Board, and other police watchdog groups.
“Politicians wanting more police accountability but not prosecuting criminals who assault cops,” retired NYPD detective Erik Pistek told the Washington Examiner.