Mayor de Blasio meeting with police unions today

Does Bill de Blasio realize how deep he has stepped into it?  He has been openly and publicly disrespected by large numbers of cops on three high-profile occasions already, and the funeral for Officer Wenjian Liu is scheduled for the coming weekend still.  There was his visit the Brooklyn hospital where Officers Ramos and Liu were taken, and cops in attendance spontaneously turned their backs to him as he entered.  Then there was the remarkable sight of thousands of cops turning their backs to the giant video screen outside the funeral for Officer Ramos.  And yesterday, at the induction ceremony for 884 new academy graduates into the NYPD, members of the crowd (though apparently none of the graduates) booed, heckled, and turned their backs to him.

Over the weekend, using his holdover police commissioner Bill Bratton as an intermediary, the mayor arranged a meeting with 5 police unions for today.  The New York Post reports:

Among the union leaders scheduled to attend are Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association president Pat Lynch and Sergeant’s Benevolent Association president Ed Mullins — who have been the most ardent critics of the mayor’s dealings with police.

The heads of the unions for detectives, captains and lieutenants are also scheduled to meet with Hizzoner.

“I think it’s good that the mayor has finally reached out to those who represent the members of the NYPD, but I’m disappointed in the issuance of a press release announcing the meeting, which now raises concerns of sincerity. Is this about politics or is it about working through problems?” Mullins said.

“This is no longer about the mayor, but this is about the people of the city of New York and the people in this nation who are watching. There’s a conflict of policies and an atmosphere of distrust between city hall and the police who serve this city.”

De Blasio and many of the people who voted for him have forgotten how important active and skilled policing is to the maintenance of order in crowded, diverse, and economically bipolar New York City.  They take for granted the low crime rates the city has enjoyed since Mayor Giuliani took the initiative to pursue the “broken windows” strategy of cracking down on small crimes, signaling that lawbreaking will come at a cost, and stopping and frisking people in high-crime areas.  Thousands of mostly black and Hispanic lives were saved as homicide rates declined radically in New York City.

I don’t know if de Blasio realizes what is going to happen if he doesn’t mend fences with the cops.  He strikes me as a rigid ideologue, and a bit arrogant (the two characteristics often go together) to boot.  The police, especially the lower ranks who deal with the public day to day, are angry enough and threatened enough by the prospect of more assassinations that a public apology and 180-degree U-turn on holding cops responsible and perps blameless when resisting arrest incidents go violent may be required.

If de Blasio can’t summon a sufficient degree of humility, the rank-and-file cops can be expected to launch what amounts to a work-to-rule action, and that will cause crime rates to skyrocket.  If and when that happens, the next election the mayor faces may have a far higher turnout than the record-low 24% turnout that elected him.

Does Bill de Blasio realize how deep he has stepped into it?  He has been openly and publicly disrespected by large numbers of cops on three high-profile occasions already, and the funeral for Officer Wenjian Liu is scheduled for the coming weekend still.  There was his visit the Brooklyn hospital where Officers Ramos and Liu were taken, and cops in attendance spontaneously turned their backs to him as he entered.  Then there was the remarkable sight of thousands of cops turning their backs to the giant video screen outside the funeral for Officer Ramos.  And yesterday, at the induction ceremony for 884 new academy graduates into the NYPD, members of the crowd (though apparently none of the graduates) booed, heckled, and turned their backs to him.

Over the weekend, using his holdover police commissioner Bill Bratton as an intermediary, the mayor arranged a meeting with 5 police unions for today.  The New York Post reports:

Among the union leaders scheduled to attend are Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association president Pat Lynch and Sergeant’s Benevolent Association president Ed Mullins — who have been the most ardent critics of the mayor’s dealings with police.

The heads of the unions for detectives, captains and lieutenants are also scheduled to meet with Hizzoner.

“I think it’s good that the mayor has finally reached out to those who represent the members of the NYPD, but I’m disappointed in the issuance of a press release announcing the meeting, which now raises concerns of sincerity. Is this about politics or is it about working through problems?” Mullins said.

“This is no longer about the mayor, but this is about the people of the city of New York and the people in this nation who are watching. There’s a conflict of policies and an atmosphere of distrust between city hall and the police who serve this city.”

De Blasio and many of the people who voted for him have forgotten how important active and skilled policing is to the maintenance of order in crowded, diverse, and economically bipolar New York City.  They take for granted the low crime rates the city has enjoyed since Mayor Giuliani took the initiative to pursue the “broken windows” strategy of cracking down on small crimes, signaling that lawbreaking will come at a cost, and stopping and frisking people in high-crime areas.  Thousands of mostly black and Hispanic lives were saved as homicide rates declined radically in New York City.

I don’t know if de Blasio realizes what is going to happen if he doesn’t mend fences with the cops.  He strikes me as a rigid ideologue, and a bit arrogant (the two characteristics often go together) to boot.  The police, especially the lower ranks who deal with the public day to day, are angry enough and threatened enough by the prospect of more assassinations that a public apology and 180-degree U-turn on holding cops responsible and perps blameless when resisting arrest incidents go violent may be required.

If de Blasio can’t summon a sufficient degree of humility, the rank-and-file cops can be expected to launch what amounts to a work-to-rule action, and that will cause crime rates to skyrocket.  If and when that happens, the next election the mayor faces may have a far higher turnout than the record-low 24% turnout that elected him.