New York Daily News

December 13, 2014, 1:52 AM


 

Editorial

Morbidly political 

The PBA takes the low road in its latest attack on Mayor de Blasio

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

    
ALEC TABAK/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEW  
Over the line.  

A cardinal and inviolable rule commands that a line-of-duty death of a New York City police officer is never to be exploited as an element of political theater.

The rule applies equally to candidates, elected officials, celebrities and activists — and, yes, to police union leaders.

Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch crossed that line with a distasteful drive for cops to sign statements asking Mayor de Blasio and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito to “refrain from attending my funeral services in the event that I am killed in the line of duty.”

Lynch wanted to shock. Mission accomplished: The morbid, cold-blooded nature of the pledge takes the breath away on initial reading, then gives way to a sensation closer to repulsion.

That Lynch is seething at de Blasio and Mark-Viverito, and that de Blasio in particular has alienated a large portion of the rank-and-file, provide no justification for counterproductive over-our-dead-bodies warfare.

These are very tough times for the Finest.

With the departure of Michael Bloomberg and the arrival of de Blasio, they have been transformed in the public debate from heroically successful crimefighers to oppressive, racially motivated bullies.

The cops saw the mayor, who had highlighted the tarnished badge as a candidate, place the Rev. Al Sharpton on equal footing with Commissioner Bill Bratton at a City Hall forum where the NYPD was raked over the coals.

On the front lines after grand juries refused to indict in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner deaths, they have faced relentless taunting and in-your-face jostling by protesters intent on provoking scuffles or worse.

A cop, a sergeant and an inspector have been punched out of the blue.

Many cops recoiled when de Blasio spoke of advising his son Dante on the need for care when he, as a black youth, encounters police.

While de Blasio intended the remarks to illustrate an experience common to black New York, many cops heard him as saying, in the context of Garner’s chokehold killing, that young African-Americans have need to mortally fear cops.

At a time when the PBA is fighting for a bigger contract settlement than de Blasio has offered — a fact openly acknowledged by the union — Lynch marshals the events to brand de Blasio guilty of failing to support the cops.

That’s his call.

But his ill-considered last-will-and-testament stunt has widened the rift between the mayor and the cops — at least as they are represented by the PBA — and leaves no easy way to close it moving forward.