New York Post
September 15, 2014

 

Editorial

Policing the police-bashers

By Post Editorial Board

Photo: Shutterstock

Imagine a New York City police officer accused of physically attacking someone in a dispute, threatening to kill one bystander and intimidating several others — and then excusing himself by saying, “I let my passions get the better of me.”

You’d have demands for his badge faster than you can say “Al Sharpton.”

In fact, all these threats were made. But they didn’t come from a cop. They came from a community activist who is also a member of the Civilian Complaint Review Board — the agency that polices the police and has recently vowed to get a whole lot tougher on misbehaving cops.

The activist is Bishop Mitchell Taylor, pastor of Hope International. But the only calls for his sacking have come from police unions.

They rightly note Taylor, who until recently was presiding over CCRB meetings, “hasn’t the judgment or temperament to pass fair judgment” on our officers.

On Monday, The Post reported Taylor had been involved in an altercation last month outside a new Queens hotel where he confronted the owner over a labor dispute. Video shows him shoving one hotel official and wielding a pick-axe against others.

Taylor later expressed regrets but added, “I don’t apologize for standing up for my community.”

He’s reportedly under investigation by the Queens DA and the NYPD’s Major Case Squad in connection with allegations he tried to extort jobs and cash from the project.

Little wonder cops view the review board as a “kangaroo court,” as even its new chairman, activist lawyer Richard Emery, concedes. But it goes far beyond just the board’s membership.

Even though a sizable number of complaints have been found to be entirely made up, the CCRB is still seen by cops as inviting as many accusations against police as possible. Given the current campaign being waged against the NYPD, that’s likely to become worse.

One possible reform, says PBA President Patrick Lynch, is legal consequences for those who file baseless complaints. Other New York jurisdictions require that complaints be signed under penalty of perjury.

Falsely reporting an incident is a crime in New York. That should include making a phony allegation against cops.