The head of a New York City police union has declared “war” on Mayor Bill de Blasio, blaming him for what the mayor called assignation attempts of cops over the weekend.
Ed Mullins used the Sergeants Benevolent Association’s official Twitter page to respond to De Blasio’s post about the weekend’s events in which two police officers were shot in separate attacks allegedly carried out by the same man.
De Blasio, who briefly ran for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, called the shootings a “premeditated assassination attempt” against police.
“Mayor DeBlasio, the members of the NYPD are declaring war on you!” Mullins wrote on behalf of his 13,000 members. “We do not respect you, DO NOT visit us in hospitals. You sold the NYPD to the vile creatures, the 1% who hate cops but vote for you. NYPD cops have been assassinated because of you. This isn’t over, Game on!”
Mayor DeBlasio, the members of the NYPD are declaring war on you! We do not respect you, DO NOT visit us in hospitals. You sold the NYPD to the vile creatures, the 1% who hate cops but vote for you. NYPD cops have been assassinated because of you. This isn’t over, Game on! https://t.co/XyruPraM9T
— SBA (@SBANYPD) February 9, 2020
Mullins’ post followed a shooting Saturday night on a Bronx street and another Sunday morning at a Bronx police station.
The suspect, identified by CNN through anonymous sources as a 45-year-old Bronx resident named Robert Williams, first approached two officers sitting in a police van. He began talking with them before opening fire, striking the one officer in the chin and neck.
The officer who was not struck drover his partner to a hospital, where he was treated.
NYPD union chief declares war on mayor following shooting
The next morning just before 8 a.m., a man walked into the police station, approached the front desk, pulled out a 9mm pistol and opened fire. A surveillance video shows him walking into another room and firing at several more officers and a civilian staffer before he runs out of ammunition. He then walks out into the main lobby and dives to the floor.
A lieutenant who returned fire was shot in the arm.
The CNN report quoted unidentified police sources as saying the gunman’s motive for the shooting was that he “hates cops.”
In an earlier Twitter post by Mullins on Sunday, the union head also criticized public officials for tolerating behavior that he said led to the shootings.
“Police are being targeted,” he wrote. “The anti cop tone infecting our city & state is causing bloodshed. Before any public official sends their thoughts & prayers, they should ask themselves how the language & behavior they’ve been tolerating has contributed to violence against police.”
Police are being targeted.The anti cop tone infecting our city & state is causing bloodshed. Before any public official sends their thoughts & prayers, they should ask themselves how the language & behavior they've been tolerating has contributed to violence against police.
— SBA (@SBANYPD) February 9, 2020
President De Blasio?
De Blasio faced similar backlash from the NYPD last July after a series of incidents of cops being doused with water and taunted and police vehicles being covered with trash on video.
At the time, Patrick Lynch, the head of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, a larger union affiliated with Mullins’, attributed the humiliating trend to “the torrent of bad policies and anti-police rhetoric that has been streaming out of City Hall and Albany for years now.”
Anonymous NYPD sources told the New York Post the sentiment was widespread among the rank and file.
De Blasio has had a strained relationship with the NYPD since his first mayoral campaign in 2013, when he promised to end the city’s stop-and-frisk policies. It has only worsened since he took office in 2014. Critics have accused de Blasio of siding with anti-police protestors amid a national debate over police conduct triggered in part by the death of Eric Garner while he was being arrested by NYPD officers.
During the first Democratic presidential debate last July, de Blasio reiterated previous comments about how he warns his black son to be careful when interacting with police.
“Something that sets me apart from all my colleagues running in this race and that is for the last 21 years I’ve been raising a black son in America,” de Blasio said in response to a question about gun violence. “I have had to have very, very serious talks with my son, including how to deal with the fact that he has to take special caution.”
Afterwards, the NYPD union issued a statement blasting the mayor for what it called his “anti-police rhetoric.”
“Mayor de Blasio has apparently learned nothing over the past six years about the extremely damaging impact of anti-police rhetoric on both cops and the communities we serve,” the statement said.
(Pluralist and Reuters contributed to this report.)