The president of the New York Police Department's largest union renewed his simmering public feud with Mayor Bill de Blasio with fresh criticism in an interview Tuesday.
"When [de Blasio] attacks the New York City police department, he’s attacking his own department and his own policies," Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolman's Benevolent Association, said on NPR's All Things Considered. "If the policy is wrong then change it. We’ll follow our orders and effectively police that policy. But when he criticizes his department, he’s criticizing his own policy.”
Lynch and de Blasio have been at odds since officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were killed in an ambush in Brooklyn last month. The spat came into view when Lynch said the mayor had "blood on [his] hands" for making statements that Lynch said bred animosity against police. De Blasio, in turn, has said police were disrespectful for turning their backs to him while he spoke at the cops' funerals.
De Blasio is producing friction between the police department and New Yorkers too, according to Lynch.
"City Hall is creating a climate where every interaction with police officers turns into a confrontation,” Lynch said in the interview.
To patch up their rift, Lynch said it would go "a long way" if de Blasio apologized to officers.
He also again refused to criticize the officers for the death of Eric Garner on Staten Island. Garner was put in a chokehold after refusing to cooperate with police who allegedly found him selling untaxed cigarettes. Lynch blamed Garner for his own death.
"You cannot resist arrest because resisting arrest leads to confrontation," Lynch said. "Unfortunately, it leads to tragedy and that’s exactly what happened on that corner that day. We cannot send our police officers out to do the job and then not support them when something doesn’t go exactly by script.”
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