Ever since news broke that the NYPD is investigating police union boss Ed Mullins, the blustering president of the Sergeants Benevolent Union has been uncharacteristically quiet. He has declined interviews, and seemed to be exercising a bit more restraint, relatively speaking, on Twitter. For a man who recently declared "war" on Mayor Bill de Blasio, who once widely promoted an overtly racist video (in his haste, he'd later claim, he'd forgotten to watch it), was a moment of introspection finally taking hold? Apparently not.
Speaking out about the investigation for the first time on Tuesday, Mullins assured the union's roughly 13,000 members that he would not be cowed by a little Internal Affairs probe. "First, let me assure you in no uncertain terms: I WILL NOT BE SILENCED BY THREAT OF DISCIPLINE, NOW OR EVER!" he wrote on Facebook.
The investigation, said Mullins, was a "desperate effort" by the mayor "to besmirch my integrity." He continued: "I am confident that my comments enjoy broad support among the SBA membership and members of the NYPD overall – you have repeatedly told me so – and I will not be intimidated by the coercive tactics employed by City Hall."
Among those Mullins comments allegedly supported by the department: "Ferguson Missouri was a lie"; college students who protest police are asking for mass shootings; the NYPD oversight board is "a disgrace" for reminding New Yorkers of their constitutional rights; and NYPD officers should stand "shoulder-to-shoulder" with ICE.
The Internal Affairs investigation will plumb those and other comments by Mullins to see "whether [his] views undermine his capacity as a sergeant," according to a government source who spoke with Gothamist. Though his duties are primarily union-related, Mullins remains a sworn officer, and collects a taxpayer-funded salary of $133,524.
The investigation itself was prompted by a Mullins tweet "declaring war" on the mayor, in response to two shootings involving police officers in the Bronx. Following that outburst, de Blasio said Mullins should face "consequences," but did not elaborate on what that would entail.
"I am not afraid of Mayor de Blasio," Mullins wrote on Facebook. "I fought the crack war in the 1980’s with five years in this department all while Bill de Blasio was in Nicaragua as an ardent supporter of the ruling socialist government, the Sandinista National Liberation Front."
In response, Freddi Goldstein, a spokesperson for the mayor's office, said in a statement: "Ed Mullins is supposed to be a leader in this city. It’s time he act like it. His comments were clearly inappropriate and a multi-paragraph, nonsensical rant doesn’t change that.
Despite his vow of unsilence, Mullins declined to comment for this story.
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