Mimesis Law
19 April 2021

CONTEST: Help NYPD Union Chief Ed Mullins Play Peek-A-Boo

Aug. 12, 2015 (Mimesis Law) — Ed Mullins, head of the NYPD Sergeants Union, and previously described “worst person in New York” has a bold, new plan. In response to attempts by city hall to jam a sliver of accountability into the hide of the NYPD, he has urged police officers to photograph homeless people and post those pictures to a Flickr account entitled, Peek-A-Boo, We See You Too. Mullins explained his reasons for the initiative in a letter to the thousands of NYPD sergeants as well as appearances on AM radio.

Mullins basically has urged cops to stop harassing poor New Yorkers to harass the poorest New Yorkers. He began his letter by letting his readers know that “[t]he NYPD is one of America’s greatest institutions.” We can assume that this title was bestowed by the same group that finds “discipline” appropriate in less than .2% of official Civilian Complaints against the NYPD. Mullins, possessing a shocking lack of self-awareness, excoriated local politicians who refuse to bow before the Altar of the Cop for engaging in shameless self-promotion and self-aggrandizement.

But why the hell does the head of one of the most powerful police unions in the nation want his officers to take pictures of homeless people? We’ll get to that.

First, Mullins has a bone to pick with the local politicians who dare to ask for change within the NYPD.

Yet, they offer no solutions – absolutely NONE! The naysayers are our inept and spineless public officials who sit amongst the City Council and propose legislation that can only be described as preposterously disingenuous.

So, which is it? Are the naysayers offering NO! solutions or are they proposing legislation that will change the NYPD to its very core? Mullins, ever the responsive public servant, lays out the following “preposterously disingenuous” proposals that provide the impetus for his Peek-A-Boo campaign:

  • Right To Know Act, which would require cops to explain why they are stopping someone, provide a card with their name on it to those they do not arrest, and also explains to the NYPD that the 4th Amendment does, in fact, apply to them.
  • The NYPD will have to provide reports on the officers who receive the highest number of Civilian Complaints.
  • Creation of a task force to study the use of body cameras.
  • The suggestion that cops try to use “injurious physical force” when shooting a suspect dead might not be necessary.
  • Oh, and a chokehold ban which would match the ban already in place within the NYPD.

It is clear that the NYPD and many other police departments around the country hate change, especially change offered by namby-pamby non-cops. But how the merciful hell does taking pictures of homeless people have anything to do with proposed reforms to the NYPD? Patience, please. We’re getting there.

Amidst the almost schizophrenic reporting of crime statistics over the last two years, depending upon the day you will hear that crime in New York City is historically high or that it is historically low. Along with the changing winds of danger or safety, you will, however, hear that the NYPD is solely responsible for lower crime rates while the senseless handcuffing of the police by Mayor DeBlasio and his cronies is completely responsible for higher rates. As per Ed Mullins …

The truth is, in the past two years, all we have seen are failed policies, more homeless encampments on city streets, a 10% increase in homicides, and the diminishing of our hard-earned and well-deserved public perception of the safest large city in America.

Moving past the fact that “homeless encampments” gets top billing over a rising homicide rate, Mullins wants to talk about “public perception”? This is a man who speaks for an organization that makes sure that the public is gripped by enough constant fear that it will hand over as much money and military weaponry as the NYPD can handle. But Mullins has little use for consistency or honesty.

Our political leaders have done nothing other than ask the people of this city to retreat from the sense of common good, and go back to the days when just a few made the decisions for the many. Yes, it sure is easy to wave the flag of criticism and offer no new ideas or real solutions to common everyday problems.

Mullins is literally railing against proposals that the NYPD provide reports to the elected city officials, a move that would, by definition, include more people in the decision-making process. But it is the second part of that section that gives hope that we might be getting towards an answer to that age old question, “How, in the name of all that’s holy, will taking pictures of homeless counter the disastrous effects of sensible police reform?”

Mullins, never one to “wave the flag of criticism,” indeed offers a unique solution under the vague banner of “accountability.”

As you travel about the City of New York, please utilize your smart phones to photograph the homeless lying in our streets, aggressive panhandlers, people urinating in public or engaging in open-air drug activity, and quality of life offenses of every type.

So, to summarize, Mullins is pissed off that his bosses are trying to fix his department’s poor and often illegal performance of its duties, so he is urging his cops to take pictures of homeless people to fight back. Well, at least we finally have an answer to our question of why the NYPD is taking pictures of New York City’s homeless – because Ed Mullins is a complete and utter asshole. But didn’t we really know that all along?

Officers (only off-duty, of course, because rules [wink]) are encouraged to submit these photos to the Peek-A-Boo, We See You Too! website using the following email peekaboo@sbanyc.org. To date, the photographs almost exclusively show apparently homeless people not breaking any laws. One truly gut-wrenching photo shows a homeless amputee in a wheelchair. I, for one, would much rather have a photograph of the smirking prick who took that photo. It would go much further towards identifying the true problem.

This stunt by Mullins is merely the latest in a long string of petulant attempts to fight back against reason, oversight and accountability. Oh, so the public wants to exercise their rights and take pictures of us cops. Well, then we will take pictures of … homeless people. The not-so-clear message from all of this is that the current leadership of the NYPD has no interest in working with the community to fix the chasm of distrust and bad will that has resulted primarily from the bully-centric policies and attitudes of its officers. Or to put it another way, “You try to tell us what to do and we will stand back and let your city burn.”

But Mullins understands logic and empathy about as well as he understands the power of social media. You would think he would have learned a lesson from the miserably failed #myNYPD campaign of 2014. The NYPD attempted to improve its image by asking the public to tweet photos of their undoubtedly pleasant interactions with the boys in blue. The hashtag was almost immediately flooded with photos of people in varying states of distress being manhandled and abused by New York cops.

In the same vein, why not take Mullins up on his offer to send in photographs of people actually breaking the law. Maybe a cop car parked in front of a hydrant. How about an officer walking outside of a cross-walk. Or one of those 10-on-1 assaults the NYPD seems so fond of. If you aren’t quick enough to capture the violence, you can always get a shot of the injuries and aftermath.

So let’s do this. In the event that you capture a photo of a cop breaking the law why not send it over to Mullins at peekaboo@sbanyc.org or maybe just revive the old tweet, #myNYPD. And send it to us at @FaultXLines too, while you’re at it. Because Ed is right, it is time to clean up this great city, and expose anyone cruel enough to prey upon the most vulnerable among us. We’ll highlight our favorite submissions next week.

police car

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