NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan, above in April, sent a cellphone message to the department's 36,000 members criticizing recent citizen videos showing profane verbal harassment directed at city police officers. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert
Reacting to recent profanity-laced videos aimed at cops, the NYPD’s Chief of Department Terence Monahan criticized the postings as examples of “horrendous” and “disgusting” behavior against police that should be condemned by more city officials.
Monahan’s comments were contained in a five-minute video sent over the weekend to cell phones of all 36,000 members of the NYPD in response to three social media postings in recent days showing private citizens berating city police officers with profanity and verbal abuse.
One confrontation took place inside the 28th Precinct station house in Harlem and could have — but didn’t — lead to an arrest for criminal trespass, Monahan said. Since June, shooting video in a station house has been prohibited.
The verbal abuse shown in the videos has led some police union officials and officers to decry what they said was harassment of cops who are uncertain how to respond.
“Guys don’t know where they stand,” said Sergeant Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins in an interview, referring to NYPD officers.
Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch, in a statement, said the videos are evidence of a hostile environment for cops where they are now afraid to take proactive action.
The other confrontations captured on video occurred in the 34th and 40th precincts, officials said. A fourth video — from the 72nd Precinct and posted on social media but not mentioned in Monahan’s video — showed a group of black, white and Asian police officers calmly listening as a man harangued them with sexually explicit obscenities and unbridled used of the N-word on a Brooklyn Street.
“They depict horrendous examples of behavior towards NYPD cops that I have no doubt the vast majority of New Yorkers find unacceptable,” Monahan said of the videos, adding that he applauded the cops' restraint.
In the video from the 40th Precinct in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx, Monahan said cops responded to an apartment and found out they were no longer needed. As the officers were leaving, he said, teenaged occupants of the apartment began filming and following them down the stairs while spewing obscenities.
“This disgusting behavior is disturbing to any cop and really should be condemned by more leaders,” Monahan said.
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson agreed.
"Police officers put their lives on the line for us, and do not deserve this kind of blatant verbal abuse," Johnson said. "I want everyone in the NYPD to know that the vast, vast majority of New Yorkers have the utmost respect and pride in the department."