In recent months Lynch, the president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, has solidified his position as the most brazenly outspoken police union head, accusing Mayor Bill de Blasio of having "blood on his hands" after two police officers were killed, execution-style, in their police cruiser last month. Lynch has also criticized de Blasio for admitting that he told his son Dante, who is biracial, to be careful of cops. But with the visual displays of cops turning their backs on de Blasio during the officers' funerals and a definite NYPD slowdown angering pols and the public, Lynch may finally be testing his members' patience.
The Daily News reports, "There was pushing, shoving and lots of screaming at Patrick Lynch, president of the 23,000-member union.
“This is what my members want!” a cop yelled near the end of the raucous meeting. “They want more cars, better vests, more manpower!”
And then the cop — one of about 350 in attendance — took a verbal jab at Lynch, who has called on de Blasio to offer a mea culpa for his continued lack of support for police.
“They don’t want an apology,” he said.
At the peak of the clash, about 100 cops were standing and screaming at Lynch, sources told the Daily News.
“I don’t care about an apology!” another PBA member shouted. “I want to know what you’re going to do to protect us!”
The battle lines were clear when the meeting took an ugly turn. The Lynch supporters were generally from Manhattan and his detractors were delegates from Brooklyn and the Bronx, sources said.
“They were screaming,” one of the sources said. “Lynch’s guys got up and there was shoving and pushing.
Lynch referred to the dissenters as "a few agitators," saying he would "continue to voice the serious concerns of New York City police officers to this administration at City Hall and Police Plaza and not be distracted by sideshows... The frustration with the mayor’s policies and concerns for safety continues to be expressed by our members." But a source told the Post, "Patty is losing control of the union. That’s the bottom line."
Daily News columnist Juan Gonzalez says that there will be a candidate to oppose Lynch at the next PBA election this summer: "[T]he PBA is not the same union that first elected Lynch back in 1999. Black, Latino and Asian officers are now a majority of city cops. Many are critical of previous stop-and-frisk policies and the targeting of minority youth for quality-of-life arrests. Lynch and his mostly white PBA old guard will face a tougher test in a contested election this time."
Police officers on the NYPD Rant message board are angry that union members are divulging what happened in the meeting to the tabloids, "Let's stop it already. I don't want to read in the paper or net another report about what goes on in meetings. We are waiting for a contract and under attack from every enemy but have people in elected positions looking to hurt us. I have never seen anything in papers from these meetings before. Why now? People taping and whispering to a media who are mostly not Our friends. End it."