The New York City Patrolmen's Benevolent Association (PBA), the largest police union in the city, is running an ad in local newspapers thanking "real New Yorkers" for their support while blasting "self-serving politicians and cynical pundits" who question the police union.
The ad is the latest in a series of aggressive actions taken by the PBA and its outspoken president, Pat Lynch, following the Dec. 20 killings of police officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos. Lynch has blamed the officers' deaths—and anti-police sentiment in general— on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
"That blood on the hands, starts on the steps of City Hall, in the office of the mayor," Lynch said at a press conference on the night of the killings.
Lynch asked members of his union to sign an affidavit demanding that de Blasio not attend their funeral should they die in the line of duty. He also applauded the cops who turned their backs to the mayor when delivered eulogies for Liu and Ramos.
Lynch is considered to be one of the key figures behind the NYPD work slowdown, which led to a significant drop in arrests and summons, as well as a loss of revenue for the city (the New York Post says it's been $10 million a week), according to a radio interview today with Police Commissioner Bill Bratton. Though Lynch denied orchestrating the slow down, an unidentified source inside the union told the New York Daily News that he has since told his officers to "go back to at least 50 percent of what they used to do."
This isn't the first PBA ad attacking de Blasio, though it is the first since the deaths of officers Liu and Ramos. While the "true New Yorkers" ad specifically claims that the rift between city hall and the PBA isn't about ongoing contract negotiations—the focus of previous attack ads.
In November, the PBA ran an ad criticizing the de Blasio administration for giving a $41 million settlement to the Central Park Five—five men of color who were wrongfully convicted of the 1989 assault and rape of Trisha Meili—while refusing to fund benefits for recently hired cops.
In October, the union paid for another ad that showed a redlined version of a police officer's oath that included edits referencing all the types of oversight cops face, as well as highlighting how they make less than other non-union cops in the region.
In April, the PBA used pictures of rotten apples to highlight how they've made the city a safer place, yet complained about not being compensated adequately for their work.
Tensions between de Blasio and police don't appear to be improving. While the city reached a new union agreement with the Captains' Endowment Association on Thursday, there's been no progress on the Patrolmen's union deal.
But the police union's list of gripes is bigger than just contract negotiations.
"We don’t believe that there is a willingness on the part of City Hall to solve these problems," Lynch said Thursday after meeting with leaders of the other five New York City police unions. He said the police unions would take matters into their own hands.
"We wish that City Hall would have the willingness to fix these problem," he said, adding that the "solutions" will have to come from union leaders instead. "We wish there was a leader in City Hall.”
Fidel Martinez is an editor at Fusion.net. He's also a Texas native and a lifelong El Tri fan.