New York City's largest police union, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association (PBA) is encouraging its members to sign a form letter asking Mayor Bill De Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito not to attend their funerals if they are killed while on active duty.
I, _____________________, as a New York City police officer, request that Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito refrain from attending my funeral services in the event that I am killed in the line of duty. Due to Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Mark-Viverito's consistent refusal to show police officers the support and respect they deserve, I believe that their attendance at the funeral of a fallen New York City police officer is an insult to that officer's memory and sacrifice.
Through spokespeople, the mayor and council speaker called the letter divisive. "This is deeply disappointing," the mayor and council speaker said in a joint statement. "The mayor and the speaker both know better than to think this inappropriate stunt represents the views of the majority of police officers and their families."
In a speech following the Staten Island grand jury's failure last month to indict Daniel Pantaleo for the death of Eric Garner, De Blasio shared about giving his son Dante—who is black—"The Talk," on the role of police in black people's lives.
The next day, PBA president Patrick Lynch said that police officers felt they had been "thrown under the bus" by the mayor. De Blasio, Lynch said, "spoke about that we have to teach our children—about their interaction with the police and that they should be afraid of New York City police officers. That's not true. We have to teach our children, our sons and our daughters, no matter who they look like, to respect New York City police officers. Teach them to comply with police officers, even if they feel it's unjust."
A recent analysis of court records by WNYC Data News found that in misdemeanor drug possession cases, black defendants are 85.4% more likely to be charged with resisting arrest than white defendants; in disorderly conduct cases, black defendants are 64.9% more likely to be charged with resisting arrest than white defendants; and in petty theft cases, black defendants are 109.4% more likely—that is, more than twice as likely—to be charged with resisting arrest than white defendants.
"Comply with police officers," indeed.