Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lambasted the NYPD union’s endorsement of President Trump ahead of the November election and noted there’s a ‘potential problem’ with the decision.
As Trump was praised by members of the New York City Police Benevolent Association at his New Jersey golf club on Friday, Ocasio-Cortez suggested the endorsement was inappropriate.
‘NYPD union endorsed Trump. I’m sure this is part of their neighborhood outreach plan,’ she wrote.
‘Also, does anyone else see a potential problem with police unions – enforcement arms of the state with lethal weapons – promoting “preferred” candidates for office or is that just me?’
The New York Police Department had previously avoided publicly backing presidential candidates as to not appear biased and remain a welcoming front to protect New Yorkers of all backgrounds.
As far as PBA President Pat Lynch knows, this is the first time in his memory that the union has thrown their weight behind a presidential candidate.
‘Many times, people say that a union like ours, law enforcement groups, give endorsements. Not in the New York City PBA, sir,’ Lynch told Trump.
‘In the New York City PBA, Mr. President, you earn the endorsement, and you’ve earned this endorsement. I’m proud to give it.’
Lynch made the announcement during a ‘Cops for Trump’ event held at the Commander-in-Chief’s golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Around 100 officers were at the president’s Bedminster golf club in New Jersey, and Lynch, the firebrand president of the Police Benevolent Association (PBA), praised Trump for showing up, despite his brother Robert being taken to hospital in Manhattan.
‘That’s where he puts you – New York police officers, and family,’ Lynch said, handing over the statue of a police officer with one hand on the shoulder of a child and the other holding the flag.
Lynch said few of the statues are given out, and said he hoped it was destined for the Oval Office.
Trump had told the whooping crowd at the ‘Cops for Trump’ event that ‘one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen’ was during the George Floyd protests in New York City, ‘when they were dumping water on the heads of two of your fellow officers.’
He said that the mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, has ‘launched a real crusade against the police.’
Trump said: ‘We have to bring law and order back to our cities, back to our country.
‘We have great police, and they have to be able to do their jobs.’
The president repeated his dismissal of concerns about police brutality, describing the officers who used excessive force as ‘bad apples’.
‘You’re going to have a bad apple – but that doesn’t mean we’re going to close up our police departments, tell them to run, to leave,’ he said.
‘We’re going to give you back your stature, your statute, and your right to be New York’s Finest – the greatest of all time.
‘We’re going to give you a real shot, because I know exactly – you need money, you need leadership.
‘You need dignity. And this guy, he’s taken your dignity away.’
Trump mused about a new nickname for Biden, asking the crowd: ‘What’s better, Slow Joe or Sleepy Joe? I go back and forth.’
The crowd cheered louder for Sleepy Joe.
Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s lawyer and mayor of New York from 1994 to 2001, said that during his tenure as mayor he reduced crime by hiring more officers.
‘You hear people say you don’t need police to reduce crime. Out of their effing minds,’ he said.
‘I have people of all races – black, white, Hispanic – come up to them and say they want more police. They say please, please, we love the police.’
He said the officers were ‘in the way of them creating a socialist government’.
He said the Democrats and their supporters ‘hate America’, adding: ‘That’s why they kneel during the national anthem.’
‘They want to convince enough people we’re a hateful country,’ he said.
Lynch, concluding, thanked the president for his public backing of police.
‘You are constantly, always, loud about your support for New York police officers,’ he said, and warned about the rise in crime in the city.
‘The city you helped build is sliding back,’ he said.
‘Our city is sliding back because the mantra in City Hall, in the officers, and the man who wants to become president is that the New York City Police Department is evil.
‘The most compassionate people on the face of the earth are the New York Police Department.’
The PBA’s endorsement of Trump is unsurprising after he’s rallied behind law enforcement amid a nationwide reckoning – and Mayor Bill de Blasio has not.
A staunch rift has grown between de Blasio and the NYPD as criticism continues to mount against law enforcement.
The death of George Floyd on Memorial Day sparked anti-racism, Black Lives Matter protests that have condemned police for using excessive force, brutality and targeting minorities.
While President Trump often lauded a heavy-handed response to demonstrations, de Blasio publicly denounced several instances of alleged police brutality performed by NYPD officers.
One alleged incident of police violence included a 20-year-old woman who was roughly shoved by an NYPD officer to the ground during a protest.
The officer had allegedly called her a ‘stupid f***ing b***h’ before pushing her.
The following day, a second officer was caught on video yanking down a man’s coronavirus mask to pepper spray him.
The last straw seemed to come when de Blasio announced that funds from the NYPD’s $6billion budget would be cut and diverted to social services. The anti-crime unit was later disbanded.
With a waning support system, officers made clear their displeasure over de Blasio’s handling of demonstrations.
On Friday, the PBA retweeted a post from the New York Law Enforcement Labor Coalition that reported unions have filed a lawsuit hoping to stop the use of police chokeholds illegal.
‘NYCMayor and NYCCouncil are gambling with the safety of New Yorkers. No officer should be arrested for making an arrest,’ they wrote.
New York City has become inundated with crime spikes, including a 286 per cent increase in robberies in the Upper East Side and a surge in gun violence.
Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik claimed in June that 600 police officers were considering leaving the force amid police brutality protests, Washington Examiner reports.
And the Sergeant Benevolent Association previously urged officers to avoid the city because of de Blasio’s apparent lapse in leadership.
‘To all our friends in law enforcement both outside & in the USA. DO NOT visit NYC & DO NOT encourage friends & family to visit. The city is dangerous thanks to our elected officials…’
The General Counsel’s Office of the Police Benevolent Association weighed in the situation, claiming that the shootings are a result of the city’s policies.
‘Effects of policies on NYC streets,’ the legal counsel wrote.
‘It’s beyond debatable that policies of electeds officials—non support of police, “light touch” policing, failure to prosecute crime-have real world impacts.
‘Beefs’ are now being routinely settled with shootings.’