New York Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch—the leader of the city’s most prominent police union—was recorded referring to black Congressional staffers’ Capitol-steps “hands up, don’t shoot” walkout protest as as “stupid shit” at a union meeting in which he also condemned what he called “stupid rules” governing police-citizen interactions. From Capital New York:
“There’s a book they make for us where if you carried it with you, you won’t need to go to the gym,” Lynch said. “Every time there’s a problem, they tell us what we can’t do. They tell us what we shouldn’t do. They never tell us what we can do. We’re going to take that book, their rules and we’re going to protect ourselves because they won’t. We will do it the way they want us to do it. We will do it with their stupid rules, even the ones that don’t work.”
Lynch also complained about members of “the United States Congress on the steps of the Capitol raising their hand as if police officers aren’t protecting their rights to do stupid shit like that,” referring to a December 11 demonstration in Washington.
Lynch’s remarks were made at a union delegate meeting in Queens; it’s not clear if he knew he was being recorded. The comments come in the context of a dispute with New York mayor Bill DeBlasio over DeBlasio’s alleged lack of support for police officers in the wake of a grand jury’s decision not to indict officer Daniel Pantaleo for the chokehold killing of Staten Island resident Eric Garner. (Pantaleo has allegedly said he did not choke Garner, though he appears to in video of the incident.) “He is not running the city of New York,” Lynch says of DeBlasio on the recording. “He thinks he’s running a fucking revolution.”