Ed Mullins, NYPD union boss, is the worst person in New York
July 17, 2015 (Mimesis Law) — On Monday, Eric Garner’s name was launched back into the national spotlight. The morning saw reports that Garner’s family had rejected a $5 million settlement offer from the city in their wrongful death suit, which would have been one of the largest of its kind. By late afternoon, though, it was clear that their patient gamble had paid off. Garner’s widow, Esau Garner, and New York City had settled on $5.9 million, the highest NYPD-related wrongful death settlement in the city’s history.
City leaders gave somber public statements regarding the deal. Scott Stringer, head of the city agency responsible for signing off on the $5.9 million offer, said “we have reached an agreement that acknowledges the tragic nature of Mr. Garner’s death while balancing my office’s fiscal responsibility to the City.” Mayor DeBlasio hoped that “[b]y reaching a resolution, family and other loved ones can move forward even though we know they will never forget this tragic incident.”
Even if those and other leaders disagreed with the amount, they were wise enough to take the advice of Long Island’s favorite son, Billy Joel, and “leave a tender moment alone.” But apparently one leader doesn’t much care for Mr. Joel, decorum, or even the semblance of human decency.
The morning after the agreement was announced, Ed Mullins, president of the NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Association, called the settlement “obscene.” This was not a snooped conversation in the back room at O’Flaherty’s Pub. He willingly published his inflammatory opinions in a letter to the editor of, not surprisingly, the New York Post.
Mullins’ opinions matter. He is the mouthpiece for New York City’s police sergeants, the department foremen, if you will. They are over 4,500 strong and are the immediate bosses for the NYPD’s beat officers and detectives. Unlike the brass who deals with policy, the sergeants ride actual herd over the way their cops police this city. Proposals can be bandied about until commissioners and councilors are blue in the face, but a cop’s boss is the one they have to answer to. And a cop’s boss is the sergeant. And the sergeant’s leader is Ed Mullins. And Ed Mullins is a horrible person.
Mullins came out swinging against the Eric Garner settlement by immediately asking, “where is the justice for New York taxpayers?” He must have thought his populist opener would make the general public think not about the injustice of his cops choking a man to death, allegedly over loose cigarettes, and about the tax burden that an additional $5.9 million would have on New York City’s annual $77.7 billion budget.
After a brief and exquisitely incorrect explanation of the way civil courts work, Mullins doubled down.
In my view, the City has chosen to abandon its fiscal responsibility to all of its citizens and genuflect to the select few who curry favor with the city government.
It is simply maddening to listen to a prominent leader of the organization that unapologetically killed Garner lecture the city that had to pay for their actions. But Mullins knows who is really the driving force here, and his name rhymes with Pal Flarpton. It can only be the shenanigans of Reverend Al and not an honest assessment of how much higher a verdict would have been had a jury of New Yorkers been allowed to decide it.
But Mullins sees this “shameful settlement” as a mere repeat of the same City Hall capitulation that occurred in the “Central Park Five” case. Almost everyone sees the injustice of the Central Park Five as those men having their lives unjustly stolen by the NYPD and prosecutors. Somehow, Ed Mullins can see the attempt to compensate the wrongs done in the Garner and Central Park Five cases as the true injustice.
If you thought the champion of New York City’s taxpayers was finished, you would have missed the best worst part. After one more veiled reference to the Reverend Al, Mullins decided to do the unspeakable and personally attack Eric Garner. He thought it appropriate to contrast the amount of this settlement with the fact that “Mr. Garner did not provide his family with an abundance of wealth.” In Mullins’ esteemed opinion, having to repeatedly bear witness to your loved one’s death only really matters if the deceased had a nice, fat 401K. Or maybe a sergeant’s vested pension?
And then he wrote a sentence which makes it almost impossible to keep one’s jaw unslacked.
Mr. Garner’s family should not be rewarded simply because he repeatedly chose to break the law and resist arrest.
If you need to step away from your phone or computer and take a few calming laps around wherever you are, that is perfectly understandable. Ed Mullins, the elected leader of the boss ranks of the NYPD’s ground soldiers, somehow sees a grieving family being “rewarded” for their dead relative’s no-good, deadbeat ways.
Mullins’ perspective on causality is as backward as his ability to engage in the human emotion of empathy. He finishes with a flourish of unabashed contrariness.
The responsibility of the City in paying damages, if any, to Mr. Garner’s family should be proportionate to its responsibility for Mr. Garner’s death, which was at best, minimal (those emphases are 100% added).
Mullins understanding of the word “responsibility” is, at best, minimal. It is hard to grasp what case would be more deserving of compensation in Mullins’ twisted Dirty Harry world. Between 2009 and 2014, the City of New York paid almost half a billion dollars in cases against the NYPD. A very small number of those were caught on video and none of those showed such a clear instance of the police senselessly killing a person as in the video of Mr. Garner.
Everyone knew this day would come. No one out there honestly thought that the Garner family would not receive a sizeable settlement for this incident. Not even Mullins.
His motivations behind his Letter to the Editor (whom, at the Post, I imagine being 3 children sitting atop each other while wearing a trench coat to pass as a grown up) are certainly to tell everyone out there that cops still rule, and if you don’t like that, you can take a hike (or get choked to death, or shot, or beaten, etc.).
Mullins is not some kooky click-bait pundit. He speaks for the NYPD. This is the same police department that emblazons their squad cars with the letters “C.P.R.” which stand for “Courtesy, Professionalism, Respect.” It is more than a little ironic that while talking about Eric Garner, a man who died because the NYPD utilized the opposite of the more commonly known CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), that Mullins thoroughly and completely eviscerates each of those NYPD tenets. But those are just words on a car, right?
Mullins’ officers escaped criminal charges in the choking death of Eric Garner. Those same officers then avoided indictment due to a nice assist from the Staten Island District Attorney. In fact, not a single one of the officers has lost so much as a single, solitary vacation day for choking a man to death over theoretical loose cigarettes.
And now, when the City of New York has to pay for the unavoidable result of this systemic aversion to accountability, Mullins has the temerity to call this the injustice? Just a horrible, horrible person, who happens to head a police union.