Even as the disconnect between the NYPD and the community doesn’t seem to be improving, recent headlines reveal a new conflict, this time within the department.
NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton and Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins continue to exchange words via the media after Mullins called for Bratton to step down amid a federal investigation of his top brass.
Speaking during a radio interview, Mullins said Bratton’s lack of forthrightness about what is going on is causing a riff in the relationship between him and law enforcement.
“What I am seeing on a regular basis now in the NYPD lately is, it’s a do as I say, not as I do attitude, and this is coming directly from Commissioner Bratton,” Mullins said. “We have a hypocrisy that’s coming right from the top, and it has to stop. It’s time that we start to set the department straight, and if we need to make changes at the top, I personally think Bratton has stayed too long.”
Mullins added that the federal probe is making the department look bad. So far, a reported nine officers have been disciplined as a result of the investigation. Many high-ranking officials are being accused of taking expensive bribes in exchange for favors.
“We’re struggling with racial tension in the city,” he said. “We’re struggling with discipline issues. And yet we have a hypocrisy that’s coming right from the top, and I think it has to stop.”
According to Mullins, high-ranking officers merely get a slap on the wrist for what he considers major offenses, whereas lower-ranking officers often received harsh punishment.
The Eric Garner case also came up during the radio interview. Mullins criticized the disciplinary action taken against Sgt. Kizzy Adonis, who was placed on modified duty earlier this year and is facing four counts of failure to supervise.
“The only one who should be charged with failure to supervise is Commissioner Bratton,” Mullins said. “He was in charge of the NYPD during the Garner incident and ultimately bears the responsibility of failed policies that lead to the enforcement of an act that sadly caused the death of Eric Garner. Bratton’s actions are nothing more than political pandering and a failure in leadership and character.”
Omowale Clay of the December 12th Movement said during an interview with the AmNews that Bratton still has conflict with the community and needs to make things right with the public.
“Bratton must go,” he said. “In spite of the superficial internal conflict in the police administration and the union, Bratton remains the supervisor of the repression of the Black community through the tactics he created. Although the tactics have changed, the impact has not.”
Clay added that repair that changing the culture of the NYPD should be Bratton’s priority.
“We are the victims of the Bratton administration’s repression, which continues contribute to the killings of young Black men that coincides with the gentrification of our community,” Clay said. “There are two different standards when it comes to police protection and violence.”