An Open Letter To NYPD Union President Pat Lynch
Sept. 16, 2015 (Mimesis Law) — Dear Pat,
I am in receipt of your letter entitled “An Open Letter To All Of Those Inclined To Jump To Conclusions.” First, allow me to begin by making a point that I think is vitally important. Fuck you.
I would love to act as though you do not matter. I wish we lived in a world where relevance was tied in some small way to basic decency, but alas, this is very much not the world we live in. Instead, you, a foaming asshat, trot your flapping pie-hole out in the wake of any moment of police misconduct to demand that we all bow before the unequivocal perfection of the NYPD.
I will admit that I was one of the “pundits” who demanded that James Frascatore be fired. I wish I could demand yours as well, but I will not waste my time. You were re-elected as the head of the police union in June of this year. You won in a landslide. You are apparently what the police officers in New York City want. That is why you are important. And that is why you must be dealt with, however unpleasant.
Although your “open letter” is a test case in irony and hypocrisy, the general thrust sets such a sweet tone. You begin by judging all of those who have dared to judge James Frascatore, who infamously tackled tennis star James Blake to the sidewalk last week. Apparently, unless we have “struggled with someone who is resisting or who pulled a gun or knife” on us, then we “are not qualified to judge the actions of police officers putting themselves in harm’s way for the public good.” Essentially, non-cop people are not allowed to judge things such as … well … things.
Unfortunately, Mr. Lynch, there are laws out there. It is quite possible that you were unable to read them during your rare breaks in public tantrum. Those precious moments are probably reserved for high-fiving Lethal Weapon movie posters or yelling at kittens. But the funny thing about laws is that they (in theory) apply to everyone, even cops. And some of our laws even have the audacity to (in theory) apply specifically to cops.
So when somehow-still-Officer Frascatore decided to take a thin tip about an incredibly non-violent crime and tackle James Blake to the ground, he broke a number of laws. Even if Frascatore had valid cause to legally arrest Blake, he clearly used excessive force . An argument could easily be made that in so doing, Frascatore committed the crimes of harassment, assault, and unlawful imprisonment. So yes, I will continue to judge this cop for violating NYPD rules as well as New York’s criminal laws.
But not only can I not judge since I have never lived the life of a cop, but apparently I also do not know all of the facts. Is it possible that I am just confusing James Frascatore with another white guy? Maybe the credit cards at issue in the identity theft investigation were weaponized. Perhaps if I knew the mean streets of Midtown Manhattan like a cop, then I would applaud Frascatore for showing restraint and not shooting Blake on sight.
So, in possibly the most head-splitting part of your missive, you demand due process for Frascatore. While those you speak for continue to drag thousands upon thousands of people into a system that has wrung so much of the fairness out of the process, you demand calm reflection for your own. And even beyond your call for a full investigation (I imagine that is moving along swimmingly), you claim that “police officers have earned the benefit of the doubt because of the dangers we routinely face.”
If there was a doubt in this matter, then some might be inclined to give it to you. But there is not. You point out that the video has no sound. I get that you are quite adept at selling your brand of snake-oil to racists and rubes, but why don’t you leave the lawyering to the lawyers. Oh, did I not mention that I am a lawyer? Let me walk you through the steps. We know that Frascatore did not have a legally legitimate reason to tackle to James Blake. We watched him tackle James Blake on video. Sound does not matter.
But I do not want to get bogged down in details about Frascatore. He is clearly an asshole who deserves to be fired. But he is just one person. Unfortunately, when the NYPD inevitably gives this one person a pass, it lets all the other persons who wear the badge know that they are free to do whatever the hell they want. Then, when you have someone like yourself, their elected leader, who has the audacity to come out and publicly scold us for having an opinion on things, it matters.
Mr. Lynch, your brand of demagoguery would not hold nearly as much importance if your abrasive voice wasn’t the only one we heard from the police. While I am not allowed to have an opinion about cops, I do have an opinion about you. You don’t give a damn about police officers in New York. You care only about Pat Lynch. You always speak against a backdrop of the generic heroism of police officers, but the star of your show is always some cop that has violated the public trust.
You have what should be a difficult job and you have taken the easy way out. Instead of representing the interests of New York’s 36,000 police officers, you merely wait for the inevitable rift in community/police relations to rear your ugly head. You act like you are protecting the reputation of the police when, in fact, there may be no one person who has done more to damage that reputation.
But this brings me back to the sad fact that you were elected. You are what the rank and file of the NYPD wants. They want an attack dog who will trot out the victim card any time we, the citizenry, get upset about the latest incident of police abuse. They want you, Pat Lynch, to tell us all to shut our ungrateful mouths.
So Pat, I know you will keep practicing the same brand of hateful division that has brought you so much power and wealth over the years. You should know that we, the disgusting non-cop people, will continue to judge you and your cops. And we are only going to get louder.