The cowards who run this city have given us nothing but vague guidelines and mixed messages, leaving the cops on the street corners to fend for ourselves…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) New York City’s largest police union warned that the city will “fall apart” if officers are required to continue enforcing social-distancing measures due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“This situation is untenable: the NYPD needs to get cops out of the social distancing enforcement business altogether,” Patrick Lynch, the president of the Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York, said in a statement.
Social distancing is not law enforcement’s “core public safety mission,” Lynch said. And if officers are forced to continue neglecting their primary responsibilities, “the city will fall apart before our eyes.”
.@NYCPBA calls for end of @NYPDnews policing of social distancing: “As the weather heats up & the pandemic continues to unravel our social fabric, police officers should be allowed to focus on our core public safety mission. If we don’t, the city will fall apart before our eyes.” pic.twitter.com/YPYZUh4TG2
— NYC PBA (@NYCPBA) May 4, 2020
Several of the city’s officers have faced criticism for their involvement in a viral video, which shows an officer hitting a man in Manhattan while trying to break up a crowd of people.
Editor’s note: Video contains profanity.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio blasted the incident as “unacceptable,” but insisted that an increased police presence is necessary.
The officers are in an unfair position, Lynch said, since they’re required to do what they must to enforce ambiguous social-distancing guidelines, and then they’re held responsible when those guidelines fail.
“The cowards who run this city have given us nothing but vague guidelines and mixed messages, leaving the cops on the street corners to fend for ourselves,” Lynch said.
“Nobody has a right to interfere with a police action, but now that the inevitable backlash has arrived, they are once again throwing us under the bus,” he added.