New York Daily News

Updated: January 14, 2015, 11:11 AM

  

 

PBA’s Patrick Lynch spurs yelling, shoving among cops over NYPD-City Hall feud

 

The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association was not so much on Tuesday as some cops shouted down Lynch regarding his demand that Mayor de Blasio apologize over comments related to race and police relations.

BY ROCCO PARASCANDOLA, TINA MOORE

Not exactly the blueprint for a more perfect union.

Members of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association nearly came to blows on Tuesday during a meeting of delegates in Queens. There was pushing, shoving and lots of screaming at Patrick Lynch, president of the 23,000-member union.

The in-house battle erupted over the issue of what patrol officers really need — an apology from Mayor de Blasio or better equipment and more officers to back them up on the streets.

“This is what my members want!” a cop yelled near the end of the raucous meeting. “They want more cars, better vests, more manpower!”

And then the cop — one of about 350 in attendance — took a verbal jab at Lynch, who has called on de Blasio to offer a mea culpa for his continued lack of support for police.

“They don’t want an apology,” he said.

At the peak of the clash, about 100 cops were standing and screaming at Lynch, sources told the Daily News.

“I don’t care about an apology!” another PBA member shouted. “I want to know what you’re going to do to protect us!”

The battle lines were clear when the meeting took an ugly turn. The Lynch supporters were generally from Manhattan and his detractors were delegates from Brooklyn and the Bronx, sources said.

“They were screaming,” one of the sources said. “Lynch’s guys got up and there was shoving and pushing.”

There were no reported injuries at Antun’s, a catering hall in Queens Village. The fracas was first reported by the Daily News.

Some of the delegates at the meeting blamed Lynch for ordering a recent slowdown in arrests and summonses — a claim the PBA boss has denied. And, sources said, they accused him of buckling under pressure once NYPD brass made it clear they expected police activity to return to normal.

A source added that delegates have been peppering the PBA leadership for answers.

“They want to know if there’s a plan,” the source said, referring to whether cops should make more arrests.

Cops also wanted to know what happened at a Dec. 30 meeting of five police union heads, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and de Blasio at the Police Academy in Queens.

“They asked Lynch directly: ‘What did you ask the mayor for?’ ” the source added.

But Lynch provided no answers.

The yelling and screaming lasted about 10 minutes before Lynch stormed out.

“He didn’t want to talk about it,” the source said. “He said, ‘Everything we say gets back to the media.’ ”

Lynch wouldn’t directly answer questions from The News either. In a statement, Lynch later blamed the brouhaha on “a few agitators bent on their own self-agendas.”

“The frustration with the mayor’s policies and concerns for safety continues to be expressed by our members,” Lynch said.

“They are rightly angered by the lack of support from City Hall, the dangerous lack of staffing, the lack of proper equipment to deal with the lethal environment we face and the reinstituted quota policies.”

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton acknowledged Friday that a “slowdown” in arrests and summonses was reflected in crime stats in the weeks after the Dec. 20 execution of Police Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos in Brooklyn. He said Monday that the numbers were on their way back up and has insisted there are no quotas.

In a related development on Tuesday, the Lieutenants Benevolent Association delivered a three-page letter to the mayor’s office suggesting ways to “remedy the estrangement” between cops and the administration.

The letter says that de Blasio “initiated dialogue” with organizers of the various protest groups as they prepared to disrupt the city after a jury decided not to indict the cop who killed Eric Garner in a chokehold on Staten Island July 17.

“Mr. Mayor, this led to the perception of you and your administration aligning yourselves with the protesters,” the letter states.

Earlier in the day, Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins blamed the decline in arrests and summonses on “a hesitancy” brought on by Garner’s death.

“What we have is no clarity as to the position of whether we should be fully enforcing these quality-of-life crimes or not,” Mullins said on Geraldo Rivera’s radio show on WABC-AM.

tmoore@nydailynews.com