Police Union Blames Shooting of Cops on Protesters

Two NYPD officers were brutally and appallingly gunned down while sitting in their squad car on Saturday and the head of the police union immediately blamed it on New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and those who have protested against the police for a long history of racism and brutality.

Pat Lynch, the president of the largest police union in New York City — the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association — blamed protesters and Mayor Bill DeBlasio for the execution-style murder of two police officers on Saturday.

Lynch said there was “blood on many hands tonight” including “those that incited violence on the street under the guise of protest” and starting with “the office of the mayor.”

Right. Because the only two options are “don’t ever criticize the police for anything” and “we should gun down policemen in their squad cars.”


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  • Look, it’s just one step from protest to murdering police officers. People don’t talk about all those people Gandhi killed.

  • They keep on saying the majority of cops are really much more decent than the corrupt abusive assholes who give the profession a bad name. But if that’s the case, why aren’t the decent majority electing better people to head up their own unions?

  • Also, I wonder if any of the gun-fondlers will step up and tell us how the right to bear arms is protecting us from tyranny.

  • dingojack

    I’m sure the grand jury will find that “there’s not sufficient evidence to prosecute”, right? — oh wait, the perp’s brown…

    @@ Dingo

  • While I’m no fan of de Blasio, Lynch’s remarks are way out of line. As head of the police union, he has to be one of the grown ups in the room, but instead he’s acting like a child. To say that the mayor has blood on his hands and telling him he’s not wanted at police funerals is to create a toxic atmosphere where it will be impossible for the two of them to talk.

  • John Pieret

    Well, of course! The fact that de Blasio didn’t send in SWAT teams in armored cars with tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the “violent” protesters (there were a few non-lethal assaults on police officers but no burning or looting) was the main reason Brinsley shot the two cops. It had nothing to do with the fact that he was a violent, possibly mentally disturbed, felon who had just shot his girlfriend in the stomach in Baltimore earlier that day.

  • anaximanchild

    Soooo … the police union is saying that people are the product of their environment, and not personally responsible for their own actions?

  • blf

    Blaming the mayor, indeed everyone but goons themselves, reminds me a lot of how N.Korea “negotiates”: It’s all your fault! Apologize!! And we want more toys!!!

  • The problem with the police isn’t the “few bad apples”. It’s the alleged “good apples” who keep covering up and excusing the “bad apples”.

  • dingojack

    So the head of the police union is called ‘Lynch’? Nomlative determinism in action?


  • wscott

    I work with a number of cops, and count several as friends. Most of them really are decent guys trying to make the world a safer place, who don’t hesitate to put themselves at risk to help total strangers. But… there are a few traits that almost all of them have in common. (And before you start, I’m not defending any of this; just explaining what I see.)


    1. Jaded cynicism. You spent your days working with the worst elements of society, most of whom aren’t exactly glad to see you, and it can’t help but color the way you see people. And because of all the shit you see every day, cutting off your empathy flow becomes a necessary defense mechanism if you want to stay sane. (Cuz counseling is for wussies.) So yeah, when you see these videos and wonder why can’t this guy just show a little compassion, that is to some extent a job requirement. This also leads to attitudes like “Well, he’s guilty of something” and “They’re never going to like us no matter what we do, so fuck `em.”


    2. A tendency towards, dare I say it, black-and-white thinking. Cops are Good Guys, criminals are Bad Guys, period. Victim X stole cigarettes, therefore he’s a Bad Guy and I’m-not-saying-he-deserved-whatever-he-got-but-yeah-I’m-kinda-saying-that. That’s also why even the slightest criticism is viewed as “anti-police” because you’re either with us 100% or you’re against us.


    3. Extreme tribalism. If you want your fellow officer to have your back when the shooting starts, you’d better have his back when the press accusations start. See also: you have no idea what the streets are really like, therefore you have no right to judge. They’ll all acknowledge bad cops exist in theory; but in practice, the wall of confirmation bias that must be overcome in each case is huge, and they will always give their brother officer every benefit of the doubt.


    4. Social isolation. Between the above and the fact that it’s hard to talk about The Job with civilians, most cops tend to only hang out with other cops, prosecutors, etc. Cue the epistemic closure. Since everyone they know “supports” them, any “opposition” is just the media whipping up trouble.


    5. Judgmentalism. Cops are trained to make split-second decisions, but they tend to do so even when it’s not necessary. And once they do make up their mind, it’s damn-near impossible to get them to change it. I honestly believe most racism on the part of the police is largely subconscious (but no less real): I don’t care that he’s black, but he’s dressed like a thug and he’s in Thug Town, therefore he’s a thug…


    6. Siege mentality. Ed’s written before about how law enforcement isn’t actually nearly as deadly as some make it out to be, how violent crime is way down, etc. But there’s not a cop in this country who believes that, and no amount of statistics is going to change what they know to be true. Or if forced to acknowledge the data, will insist it’s only because they’re doing such a great job so they can’t let up for even a second. IMO, the real problem with the “militarization” of law enforcement isn’t about weapons or camo uniforms, but about a mindset where they honestly expect to get shot at every day and come to view the public as the enemy.


    And oh by the way, the guy who gets elected head of the union? IMX it’s the guy who scores 10-out-of-10 on all the above. Police unions exist to defend cops, plain and simple.


    I don’t have any solutions, and I’ve given up even trying to talk to any of my cop friends about the subject because it never goes anywhere productive and at the end of the day I still have to work with them. But maybe this will help folks understand the mindset a little better.

  • wscott

    oh wait, the perp’s brown…

    …and also dead. But yeah.

  • gshelley

    I followed the link. There wasn’t anything to even suggest it had anylink to the protests, which would make it a classic post hoc fallacy in any case

  • sabrekgb

    @3 Raging Bee

    Not sure why you brought it up… But this is NYC…not exactly a paragon of gun rights. So, what is it you’re trying to say? Because, apparently, it’s not that draconian gun regulation will prevent something like this. Since you mentioned it, do tell.

  • dingojack

    wscott – and not a cop/soldier, and therefore, an untermenschen, a subhuman, and clearly not worthy any kind of justice…

    @@ Dingo

  • sabrekgb

    Shit…won the caste system lottery and didn’t even know it! 🙂

  • dugglebogey

    The guy that shot the cops is dead. The cops that shot the various minorities are still fine as far as I know.

  • eidolon

    dingo @4; dugglebogey @17

    According to the NYT, the assassin killed himself. sorry, but as bad as some cops are, you don’t get to lay this particular death on them.

    gshelly @13

    Again from the NYT:

    “He attended a protest against the police in Union Square on Dec. 1, recording some of the demonstration on his cellphone.” and ““I’m Putting Wings On Pigs Today They Take 1 Of Ours…… Let’s Take 2 of Theirs #ShootThePolice,” The Ours and Theirs at least indicates some idea of collective revenge. It is not completely unreasonable to think that some part of that comes from watching the protests.

    did the protests cause the shooting? Nope. Should they be implicated? Nope. Is Lynch as sorry lying POS? Most certainly.

  • dan4

    @17 Yes, and the cops shot by the dead “guy who shot the cops” are dead as well. What exactly the point with your comment?

  • Is part of this guy’s job to make the public actually like the police more? Because he’s having the opposite effect on me.

  • Thank you, wscott, for the clarification. I can only add that all of the factors you cite are made worse by every instance of misconduct followed by circling the wagons. It’s a vicious cycle of provocation-response-anticipation that has to be continually attacked by openness, accountability, better training, and increased contacts between cops and civilians; otherwise the tribalism will simply make everything worse for cops and civilians alike.

  • wscott

    @ Raging Bee #21: Agreed. I was just reading another article on the backfire effect, and how the more defensive people feel (rightly or wrongly) the harder it is for their brains to accept and remember contradictory data. With each one of these incidents, people get more angry and defensive and less likely to listen to the facts. (The left isn’t immune to this, of course – I still see blogs alleging Michael Brown was shot in the back while running away.)

    I dunno what the solution is. I’m hoping body cameras will help by at least eliminating some of the He-said-she-said element. But…I really don’t know.

  • sabrekgb

    Hey, Raging Bee, no elaboration of your inane comment @3?

  • scienceavenger

    @11 WScott – FWIW, I ran your comment by my wife, who has had multiple cops in her family, and she gave it her Authentication Seal.

    @20 Seconded, and I’ve found that true of most of the cops I’ve heard on this. I’d attribute it to #4 on WScott’s list – when you only talk to other cops, you forget how much of a dick you sound like to noncops.