The president of New York City’s largest police union blasted City Hall for “amateur-hour meddling” with day-to-day procedures after the NYPD’s chief of patrol resigned over tensions with Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“This is what happens when elected officials play political games with police department operations,” NYC Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said in a statement Wednesday. “Our top talent in all ranks is being driven out the door and public safety is suffering.”
Chief of Patrol Fausto Pichardo announced his resignation Tuesday over frustrations over “needling micromanagement” from de Blasio, the New York Post reported. The mayor reportedly chewed him out for missing a late phone call last week. And separately the mayor’s office allegedly spammed him with text messages about a minor issue that would normally be handled by someone lower on the chain of command.
“We wish Chief Pichardo a long, happy and successful retirement,” Lynch said. “Wherever he goes next, they will be getting one of our finest.”
He also said that City Hall meddling had “left the NYPD broken, almost beyond repair.”
The city recently voted to slash police funding by about $1 billion – even with violent crime increasing after years of going down — in disruptive year that included the coronavirus pandemic, a controversial new bail-reform law and widespread protests against police brutality.
Shootings have spiked by 127 percent in the city so far this year, according to police. Twelve people were shot on this past Sunday alone. Murders rose 76 percent this year over last.
Plus a city council candidate was arrested over the weekend after allegedly egging on a mob of protesters who assaulted a Jewish Insider reporter in Brooklyn last week.
And rank-and-file officers have been leaving the job in large numbers, too – with a 49 percent rise in officers filing for retirement since late May – when protests broke out around the country over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.
Floyd, a Black man, died after an officer was seen on video kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
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