Police union officials have denied that last week's plummeting arrest numbers are a result of an organized work stoppage or slowdown, according to the New York Times. Rather, officials say, this is a result of cops being scared and sad.
Michael J. Palladino, the head of the Detectives' Endowment Association, told the Times that while a stoppage had not been ordered and was not sanctioned for his detectives, it was nevertheless understandable that, in the wake of two fellow officers being killed, there would be a slowdown of some kind. "Cops have feelings, too," he said. "Now they are the targets of execution. That's enough to make anyone hesitate, regardless of your profession."
"No one has sanctioned a slowdown or stoppage," Edward Mullins, the president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association told the Times. "That is not something that anybody came out and said to do."
After the deaths of officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, a memo attributed to the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association circulated: "Absolutely NO enforcement action in the form of arrests and or summonses is to be taken unless absolutely necessary." The P.B.A. denied authorship, though its president, Pat Lynch, echoed much of the memo's language in an address to reporters later that same night.
An unprecedented meeting between the mayor and representatives of the police unions on Tuesday was apparently unproductive, if civil. "There was no yelling," a P.B.A. spokesman told the Times, "and there was no laughing."
"I was expecting more," an unnamed union official who was present said. "In fairness to the mayor, he is asking for conversation to move forward." At the end of the meeting, he said, "we were all scratching our heads over what is getting solved."
As far as the (alleged) work stoppage goes, Commissioner Bratton is certain that there's nothing to worry about. "I would point out it has not had an impact on the city's safety at all," he told the Times. So... broken windows policing is a sham?
"Ironically, this is the kind of thing we're calling for," Robert Gangi, the director of the Police Reform Organizing Project, told the Times. "It's officers deciding on their own to, in effect, scale back on the application of broken-windows policing."
[Image via AP Images]