After a week where police officers in New York state repeatedly brutalized protesters, one police union leader has this request: “Stop treating us like animals and thugs and start treating us with some respect.”
The ask comes courtesy of Mike O’Meara, president of the New York Police Benevolent Association, who seemed worried that all the videos showing police violence are making officers look bad.
“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!” A Washington Post tally published Monday shows police have shot and killed about 1,000 people each year for the past five years, with Black people being shot and killed at disproportionate rates.
O’Meara then accused “everybody” of trying to “shame” officers “into being embarrassed of our profession.”
The police union boss then tried to claim that the New York officers’ handling of protesters is nothing compared to the cops involved in George Floyd’s death.
“You know what? This isn’t stained by someone in Minneapolis,” O’Meara said, holding up his badge. “It’s still got a shine on it, and so do theirs.” He then gestured to the all-white crew of officers behind him.
O’Meara then called the killing of Floyd by officer Derek Chauvin “disgusting” and said, “it’s not what police officers do. … He killed someone. We didn’t. We are restrained.”
Graphic video from last week shows police in Buffalo, New York, pushing over a 75-year-old protester and leaving him bleeding on the sidewalk. Police in New York City have employed aggressive tactics during the city’s protests, including hitting peaceful protesters with batons, assaulting essential workers and arresting journalists covering the demonstrations.
“Stop treating us like animals and thugs, and start treating us with some respect!” O’Meara said. “That’s what we’re here today to say. We’ve been left out of the conversation. We’ve been vilified. It’s disgusting.”
You can see O’Meara’s outburst here:
Many Twitter users brutally mocked O’Meara’s rant by pointing out the real message being sent.