New York Post
August 4, 2014

PBA chief says city officials are making it impossible to be a cop

By Kirstan Conley and Bruce Golding

Photo: Paul Martinka
PBA President Pat Lynch

The head of the city’s police union said Sunday that local politicians are making it all but impossible for cops to do their jobs.

“It’s a difficult time to be a New York City police officer, where you don’t always feel the support of the folks you should be getting it from,” said PBA President Pat Lynch.

Lynch didn’t name names, but lashed out at the City Council, noting that it passed last year’s anti-profiling measure to crack down on the NYPD’s use of “stop and frisk.”

Lynch said the council “never bothered to address the real problem, which is quotas.”

“We don’t want to go out and get numbers for the sake of numbers. What we want to do is to go out and use [stop and frisk] constitutionally,” Lynch said.

“But the City Council went a step further and gave the ability to attorneys in this city to sue us, get paid for it and made it a cottage industry.

“So now members are afraid that we’re damned if we do, we’re damned if we don’t,” he added.

During a radio interview with former Republican mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis, Lynch spoke in support of cop Daniel Pantaleo, who was caught on cellphone video apparently putting Eric Garner of Staten Island into a chokehold banned by the NYPD. Garner died within minutes. The medical examiner later concluded his death was a homicide.

“I think what gets lost many times is that no police officer gets up each day to go to work wanting or expecting to deal with the death of a person in their custody,” Lynch said during the interview on WNYM AM radio.

“But unfortunately in this business, there’s not always a script. Everything doesn’t go the way it should, and these tragedies happen.

“Look, we’re doing a difficult job, and many times the folks we have to arrest aren’t going to comply, and it turns into a dangerous situation for the police officer,” Lynch said.

Earlier, he told Norman Seabrook, head of the city corrections officers union, that Pantaleo is “distraught over the incident.

“No one wants to have to deal with the fact that someone died because of something they had to do. It’s a terrible loss,” Lynch said on another morning radio show on WNBM FM.

“Things like this happen, unfortunately,” added Lynch, noting the office never intended to kill Garner. “And that doesn’t mean to lessen it — it means it’s the reality. In communities, we have to deal with the reality of the job we have to do.”

As for criticism over Garner’s treatment as he lay on the sidewalk after the chokehold, “Mr. Garner was still breathing, and you don’t perform CPR on someone who is still breathing,’’ Lynch said.