New York Post
September 15, 2014

 

Review Board member caught wielding a pickax during dispute

By Shawn Cohen and Larry Celona

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A Queens pastor who was caught on camera wielding a pickax during a labor dispute is among several members of the Civilian Complaint Review Board sitting in judgment of city cops — despite the fact that their terms have expired, The Post has learned.

Police-union leaders are demanding the immediate ouster of CCRB member Bishop Mitchell Taylor, who was videotaped attacking a construction worker and menacing others with the tool.

Pat Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, said Taylor needs to get the boot “because, as a graphic video makes clear, he hasn’t the judgment or temperament to pass fair judgment on the actions of New York City police officers.”

Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, said, “Simply put, we do not believe Bishop Taylor has the common sense or moral standing to pass judgment on our members.”

In a letter to CCRB Chairman Richard Emery, Mullins also questioned “ how an individual who conducts himself in such a manner was selected for the CCRB board in the first instance.”

Taylor is under investigation for the Aug. 8 altercation, in which he allegedly threatened to kill the owner of a construction firm that is building a Howard Johnson hotel in Long Island City, law-enforcement sources said.

Surveillance video shows Taylor shoving a construction worker against a large, plate-glass window in the building’s lobby, then grabbing and swinging a pickax during a melee outside.

Cops and prosecutors are probing allegations that Taylor has tried to extort jobs and cash from the hotel project, sources said.

Taylor, leader of the non-denominational Center of Hope International church, was chosen for the 13-member CCRB by the City Council in 2008 and is among eight members whose terms have expired. All are continuing in their roles pending replacement or reappointment.

Emery, appointed by Mayor de Blasio, declined to comment on Taylor’s future with the board.

A City Hall spokeswoman said, “The administration is actively working with the City Council to designate and appoint members to the board who share the mayor and Emery’s values and commitment to protecting New Yorkers’ rights.”

In a statement, Taylor said, “I let my passions get the better of my [sic] on August 8 while championing for jobs for the people of Queensbridge and have apologized to the community and in the media.”

The CCRB — which de Blasio has vowed to shake up — is poised to fire its executive director, Tracy Catapano-Fox, whose job was posted last week on the city’s Web site.