The head of the second-largest police union in New York called for Commissioner Bill Bratton's resignation Sunday. Ed Mullins, President of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, stressed "It's time that we start to set the department straight, and if we need to make changes at the top, I personally think Bratton has stayed too long, and it's time to."
Mullins voiced his lack of confidence in Bratton while discussing the FBI's ongoing investigation of possible corruption throughout the NYPD and City Hall. The SBA leader had been a guest on billionaire Gristedes CEO John Catsimatidis's AM radio program. Mullins admitted that the NYPD's public image is in need of a boost, and suggested that department top brass needs "to set an example of leadership going forward. And I just don't see that happening."
As many as nine NYPD officers have been reprimanded as a result of the FBI corruption investigation, which focuses on high-ranking officials within the department being bribed with trips and money in return for favors. The federal probe has reportedly also lead to the arrest of Alex "Shaya" Lichtenstein, who allegedly paid off the police for expedited gun licenses. On Friday afternoon, Michael Ameri, the NYPD's Highway Patrol, took his own life. Ameri had been repeatedly questioned in connection with the FBI's case.
Mullins suggested in his interview that high-ranking officials in the NYPD rarely received punishment as severe as lower-level cops. "What I am seeing on a regular basis now at the NYPD is, it’s a do as I say, not a do as I do attitude — and this is coming directly from Commissioner Bratton," Mullins said on the radio program. “We’re seeing hypocrisy.”
Sunday's interview is not the first time the SBA leader has publicly criticized Commissioner Bratton. When an NYPD sergeant was stripped of her badge for "doing nothing" during the 2014 Staten Island standoff that led to Eric Garner's death, Mullins was livid. "The only one who should be charged with failure to supervise is Commissioner Bratton. He was in charge of the NYPD during the Garner incident and ultimately bears the responsibility of failed policies that lead to the enforcement of an act that sadly caused the death of Eric Garner. Bratton’s actions are nothing more than political pandering and a failure in leadership and character," Mullins said. However, when Mullins learned of the city's $5.9 million settlement payment to Garner's surviving family, he called the figure an "obscene" injustice against taxpayers and claimed "Mr. Garner’s family should not be rewarded simply because he repeatedly chose to break the law and resist arrest."
Speaking of Bratton's leadership today, Mullins criticized Bratton for sending a message of entitlement and disconnect from the public's perception of the NYPD. "We have issues of integrity and I think at this point in time it’s really a matter of trust to the public," he said. "We’re struggling with racial tension in the city. We’re struggling with discipline issues. And yet we have a hypocrisy that’s coming right from the top, and I think it has to stop.”
[h/t NY Daily News]