Wednesday, March 11, 2015

NYC cops have a chance to just-say-no to their stinking-pile-of-puke union boss, "Stinko" Lynch


Plus: Ferguson's police chief steps down -- this is big news?
(As John Oliver said Sunday, "Fuck those fucking assholes")

If NYC cops reelect Stinko as their capo in June, they send New Yorkers -- and the world -- a terrible message about how they see the job they're supposed to be doing.

by Ken

It shouldn't come as news that all over the country demagogic or just plain fascist-minded pols have been not only tolerating but encouraging cops' belief that rather than upholding the law their job is to maintain order (or their idea of order, not necessarily remotely the same thing) by any means they choose. It shouldnt be news because, after all, it has been the news as all over the country we're experiencing ever more frequent eruptions of violence thanks to cops functioning in storm-trooper mode.

The systemic horrors revealed in the appalling Justice Dept. report on the state of policing in Ferguson were greeted by Ferguson Mayor James Knowles with the preposterous claim that the findings in the report aren't "representative." But as John Oliver argued so vociferously in Sunday night's Last Week Tonight, the whole substance of that report is that what's documented in it is exactly "representative."

("In no way representative?" John exclaimed in astonishment. "Did you read the report?" Mediaite's Matt Wilstein has a clip of this segment, which you owe it to yourself to watch -- and not just for John's memorable expostualtion: "It's moments like this that make me glad I'm on HBO, where you can hear me say this: Fuck those fucking assholes." I wish I had time to transcribe the whole segment, but even that wouldn't give you the full flavor of it.)

And while certainly not all jurisdictions are as badly mis-policed as Ferguson (though we shouldn't assume that there aren't lots that are), anyone who believes the kinds of abuses documented are unique to Ferguson is living in delusion and denial. But then, those are popular addresses in 2015 America.

This afternoon's big news on the police front was that Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson has resigned. Really? Is this supposed to come as a surprise? Let's talk again when some indictments are handed down, or when there's evidence that the findings of the DoJ report are actually being taken to heart in the operation of the department.

Which naturally leads us to our mission tonight: to honor Pat "Stinko" Lynch, capo of the largest of the NYC police unions, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association (PBA), aka the filthy lying lawless fascist buttwipe who has goaded his members into open warfare with Mayor Bill de Blasio over grievances that are basically manufactured in the itty-bitty diseased brain housed in his stinking butt. Mayor Bill has been perhaps the most prominent pol to argue that yes, we value our cops, but this doesn't mean we can safely ignore a range of serious problems in current police practice.

Last week I asked, "Do cops understand how bad they're made to look by the hysterics who ritually screech 'Anti-police! Anti-police!'?" It won't be long before we get an answer of sorts from New York's Not-So-Finest. The cops Stinko has led into battle have a chance to rally behind him, standing up and shoutin, "We're an out-of-control rabid stinking lawless buttwipes, you betcha! So why shouldn't we have a scumbag after our own hearts as our union boss?"

Or maybe not.

As DNAinfo New York "On the Inside" reporter Murray Weiss reports today ("Pat Lynch Faces Challenge for Presidency of NYPD Union"), Stinko now has two declared challengers in his reelection bid in June. Neither is about to repudiate the Stinkman, exactly, but both are sounding the theme that his relentlessly antagonistic way of attacking the NYPD has to deal with, like the mayor and the police commissioner, Bill Bratton, has distracted from the pursuit of cops' real workplace issues.

Cops bitch and moan that they don't get no respect, while allowing themselves to be fronted by a thug who regards the citizens he's supposed to be serving as the enemy. As long as cops choose to be represented by the likes of Stinko, they're getting way more respect than they deserve. And while it's hard to know how much less of a disgrace to the uniform his challengers might be, at least -- to put it bluntly -- they aren't Stinko, and might take at least a step back from the abyss to which the Stinkman has worked so hard to lead both the PBA and the city.

Here's Murray "On the Inside" Weiss today on Stinko and his challengers.
The 51-year-old head of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association believes his "outspoken" leadership style is an asset for his members. But one of his challengers says Lynch is out of touch with the 23,000 members of the rank-and-file, and that his clashes with City Hall have distracted him from core police issues.

Brian Fusco, an officer from Brooklyn South who's heading a slate of candidates for union leadership, says Lynch has taken his eyes off their bread-and-butter concerns while creating unnecessary friction with the administration.

“The job of the president of the union is to address the injustices and be able to sit with the Police Commissioner and get things changed,” Fusco said, adding that he thought Lynch's attacks on the mayor in the wake of the murder of two NYPD officers in Bed-Stuy were counterproductive.

“He knew he would get some media attention and amped it up,” Fusco said.

“I don’t know if he got caught up in the frenzy. Sometimes you say things with too much emotion and cross a bridge you can't get back over. You have to get along with the mayor.”

Fusco questioned why Lynch has not gotten a contract, or successfully challenged the NYPD’s onerous disciplinary system and police pension inequity issues involving new “Tier 3” officers disabled in the line of duty.

On Monday, “On The Inside” reported exclusively that Lynch says he “has no regrets” about taking on de Blasio — saying he was expressing his members' raw sentiment when he claimed that the mayor had "blood on his hands” following the deaths of officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.

“One thing that I brought into this organization is being an outspoken leader, that we will defend you and represent you, even in controversies,” Lynch said.

“We pride ourselves on being out there all the time, fighting the fight every day, whether it is City Hall or not. I brought that into the organization.”

Lynch also insisted that his aggressiveness helped force de Blasio into beginning to support pro-police positions, such as buying new bulletproof vests, vetoing a City Council bill that would have made chokeholds illegal and deciding to fight frivolous lawsuits against the NYPD.

His union has chosen to go to the statewide Public Employment Relations Board to work out a contract for a third time, arguing that they can get a better contract that way than by negotiating with the city directly.

He also said he has been challenging the Tier 3 system and  fighting for legislation on the pension disability controversy.

NYPD Officer Ronald Wilson is also mounting a challenge to Lynch, but he has yet to announce his slate.   When he announced his challenge last month, Wilson, a 27-year veteran now in the Traffic Division, chided Lynch for the way he blasted de Blasio and he criticized the PBA president for failing to get a contract or improving working conditions.

If successful, Wilson would be the PBA’s first black president.

Fusco’s running mates include three Bronx union representatives presently under indictment in the NYPD's ticket-fixing scandal. They maintain Lynch did little to prevent their arrests or stop the department from taking punitive actions against scores of other officers snared in the probe.

Lynch supporters point out that demonstrations outside the courthouse were widely covered — “their headlines were we were too vocal,” Lynch said — and  the union has hired the best lawyers to fight the charges.

Nonetheless, Fusco says it is simply time for a change.

“My opponents are not new faces," Lynch said. "I've done the job every day and that has worked for me, and I believe the members know it has worked for them.”
In that Monday "exclusive" Murray references, headlined "Police Union President Has 'No Regrets' About Feud With De Blasio," we got, rather surprisingly, an almost unchallengedly Stinkonian view of his heroic accomplishments, not least having cowed Mayor Bill around to his way of thinking. "It is my job to talk about the difficulty of our jobs," Stinko told Murray, "to provide the opinion of the police officers at any given time, to give their perspective and tell their story." Which sounds fine, as long as we don't look at what Stinko has actually said and done.

In the World According to Stinko, up until the Great Stinko started defending his beaten-down heroes -- by spewing bullshit at the top of his lungs -- Mayor de Blasio spent a portion of every day publicly denigrating cops and encouraging people to kill them. The correct view, in StinkoWorld, is that cops are saints who have never done anything wrong, and anyone who says otherwise deserves to have the crap kicked out of him.

(Only for God's sake make sure there aren't any of those effing camera-phones spying on your heroic policework. What commie invented them anyways?)

The difficulty here is counting the number of blatant lies enmeshed. Well, that and perhaps trying to figure out, as we are so often prompted to do with right-wing purveyors of psychotic bullshit, whether Stinko is a pathological liar or simply a moron. As a practical matter, the distinction matters less to me than it used to. In this case, for example, whichever it is (and you know, it could be both!), do NYC cops really want to be sending the message to the world that they don't know anyone capable of representing them who isn't either a pathological liar or a moron?

Ironically, the one overwhelmingly legitimate cop complaint I'm aware of -- that cops have been forced by their masters to fund city government by devoting indecent numbers of policing hours to meeting ever more burdensome ticket quotas -- is a legacy of the great imperial-fascist mayors of the period 1994-2013, Rudy "I Am the Law" Giuliani and "Emperor Mike" Bloomberg, who elevated the NYPD to their personal imperial guard and fuck-the-law enforcers of all corporate orthodoxies. Cops seem still to think of them as their great mayoral champions, and it's hard to know whether Stinko knows they weren't so much, because it's hard to know whether Stinko knows anything beyond the bullshit he spews at deafening volume.

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