The memo wasn’t sent formally, maybe

There’s a letter, or memo, that purports to be from the PBA but the PBA is denying it. If it’s real it’s terrifying – it’s unabashed fascism is what it is.

But the PBA is denying it.

A spokesman for the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association has denied that the group issued a now-widely circulated memo reacting to today’s killing of two police officers that says, among other things, “The mayors hands are literally dripping with our blood because of his words actions and policies …”

Well the “literally” is excessive for sure.

The memo was first posted on Twitter by Ryan Gorman, whose Twitter bio gives his title as managing editor of breaking news and original content at AOL. Gorman said on Twitter that he got the memo from a union source.

At 8:18 p.m., the New York Times website reported that the memo came from the P.B.A., and then shortly afterward posted a different article referring to the memo as “a statement purporting to be from the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association.”

In a press conference Saturday night, Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association president Pat Lynch used similar language to that in the memo, saying, in reference to de Blasio and protesters, “There’s blood on many hands tonight.”

“Those that incited violence on the street, under the guise of protest, that tried to tear down what New York City police officers did every day,” Lynch said. “We tried to warn—’it must not go on, it cannot be tolerated.’ That blood on the hands, starts on the steps of City Hall, in the office of the mayor.”

Later, he said, “When these funerals are over, those responsible will be called on the carpet and held accountable.”

He’s talking about people objecting to the police killing people. He’s saying that must not go on, it cannot be tolerated – not about the killing but about the objecting to the killing. He’s objecting to civilian oversight of the police. It’s fascism.

Asked about the memo, NYPD deputy commissioner for public information Stephen Davis wrote in an email to Capital, “That is absolutely not a Department directive.”

Asked if the NYPD had reports of police officers receiving the memo from any police union, Davis replied, “Unknown if it actually sent by Union formally.”

Oh, so maybe it was sent informally. That’s fine then.

Here’s what the memo said:

At least two units are to respond to EVERY call, no matter the condition or severity, no matter what type of job is pending, or what the option of the patrol supervisor happens to be. IN ADDITION: Absolutely NO enforcement action in the form of arrests and or summonses is to be taken unless absolutely necessary and an individual MUST be placed under arrest. These are precautions that were taken in the 1970’s when Police Officers were ambushed and executed on a regular basis. The mayors hands are literally dripping with our blood because of his words actions and policies and we have, for the first time in a number of years, become a ‘wartime’ police department. We will act accordingly.

It’s the wording of a coup.

Let’s be clear about this. The police don’t get to decide that. The police union doesn’t get to decide that. The police do not run the show.


  1. says

    I’m tempted to play Richard Dawkins and try to put shooting 2 cops on a moral spectrum with strangling unarmed civilians or shooting a kid with a toy guy or an 18 year-old for being big and black. I don’t think it’s appropriate to shoot cops at random; my feelings might be different if he’d taken the time to track down Darren Wilson, though. Remember: citizens in an occupied territory who are being treated unjustly and politically disempowered are exercising a right of self-defense when they attack those that oppress them.

    2 random cops eating donuts in their car are not a legitimate target.

  2. says

    These are precautions that were taken in the 1970’s when Police Officers were ambushed and executed on a regular basis.

    In the 70s it was maybe more justified. Think about that, cops. Don’t act like an unjust occupying force and you won’t invite retaliation. The shooting in NYC is the future, if the cops keep militarizing and circling the wagons and indemnifying themselves for shooting civilians.

    The forces of law and order really were too obvious with the grand jury whitewashes. Really. That was sloppy sloppy work.

  3. says

    There are some heroes at that scene:

    He fired four shots through the closed window of the passenger side and fled, pursued by two Con Edison utility workers who happened to witness the attack.

    Power company workers chasing a man with a gun who’d just shot 2 cops? Why aren’t the cop union buying them a metric fucktonne of beer?

  4. Pierce R. Butler says

    … on the steps of City Hall, in the office of the mayor.

    De Blasio must like fresh air much more than the traditional NYC bureaucrat. But how will this work once spring and the pigeons return?

    As for the semantic coherency of the PBA’s declaration of dominion – NYPD apparently also has a fix in with the Syntax Police.

  5. sonofrojblake says

    we have[…] become a ‘wartime’ police department. We will act accordingly

    Not for the first time, I am really glad I don’t live there, or have any reason to have to visit there. I wonder how far this will have to go before the Foreign Office puts it on the list of places you probably should avoid…

  6. John Morales says

    The specifics might be in dispute, but the attitude clearly isn’t.

    (The closing of ranks!)

  7. busterggi says

    I’m relieved that it isn’t the Pro Bowlers Association as I first though.

    Less relieved that cops are admitting that they see the general public as fair game, literally.

  8. Crimson Clupeidae says

    busterggi: the police attitude is that of an occupying army, and we, the citizens are the enemy.

  9. Phillip Hallam-Baker says

    The police union might find it a little difficult negotiating if the Mayor refuses to meet with them.

    There are plenty of ways that people in authority can bring such folk to heel.

  10. Crimson Clupeidae says

    Regarding the quote that sonofrojblake highlighted: The various PDs have been acting like that for years already, that’s most of the problem. Looks to me like they are just getting more entrenched, which can only end badly. 🙁

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