New York City

PBA Lynch: Cops ‘thrown under the bus’ by de Blasio after Eric Garner decision

December 4, 2014 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
PBA President Patrick Lynch. Photo courtesy of PBA
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Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA) President Patrick Lynch said on Thursday that NYPD officers felt Mayor Bill de Blasio had “thrown them under the bus” in a statement he gave about the death of Eric Garner on Wednesday.

De Blasio made his statement after the grand jury’s decision not to indict Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo in Garner’s death in Staten Island after Pantaleo allegedly used a choke hold on Garner.

Lynch said the mayor didn’t give enough credit to cops who were doing a difficult and dangerous job.

“What police officers felt yesterday after that press conference is that they were thrown under the bus,” Lynch said in the unscripted press conference broadcast live on 1010 WINS. “That they were out there doing a difficult job in the middle of the night, protecting the rights of those to protest, protecting our sons and daughters — and the mayor was behind microphones like this throwing them under the bus.”

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In his speech, de Blasio spoke of the need to retrain police officers, weed out racists or brutal cops and initiate the use of body cameras. He said that he and his wife Chirlane had to teach their son Dante, as a young black man, how to conduct himself around police.

“What we didn’t hear is that our children should be taught to be afraid of criminals, not to fear police officers,” Lynch said.

Lynch said the grand jury had rendered a fair judgment, and that the death of Eric Garner was a true tragedy, and one not intended by Officer Pantaleo. When Pantaleo wrapped his arm around Garner’s neck, he was using a permitted technique he learned at the Police Academy, not a forbidden chokehold, Lynch asserted.

Pantaleo became a police officer to help people and to protect those who can’t protect themselves, Lynch said. “He’s an actual Eagle Scout.”

He said that people must not resist arrest, even if they think they are in the right. There are methods to deal with that after the arrest, he said.

On Thursday, Mayor de Blasio hosted a press conference with Police Commissioner Bratton to discuss police retraining.


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