Gov. Andrew Cuomo got steamed up Monday while discussing the recent water-bucket attacks on NYPD cops who walked away from the abuse — saying their timid, caught-on-camera responses made the officers appear “impotent.”
But while he called the cops’ behavior “one of the most disturbing and embarrassing actions I’ve seen,” Cuomo placed the blame entirely on Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD.
“I look to the training and the policies of the police department that would’ve instructed them to act that way,” Cuomo said on Albany’s WAMC radio.
“The training has to be, you don’t turn around and get back in the car and drive away. You literally make law enforcement ineffective and impotent and that hurts everyone.
“You’re assaulted, you take the perpetrator into custody. That’s what you do.”
Cuomo also claimed that the state troopers under his command would never tolerate such mistreatment.
“If that ever happened to the state police, I would bet you my bottom dollar that you would not see state police officers assaulted and they turn around and get back in the car,” he said.
The head of the NYPD’s largest union said that “Gov. Cuomo is right: the NYPD is frozen, but don’t blame the cops. Instead, blame the complete lack of leadership from City Hall.”
Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch also said that while Cuomo “apparently wants the New York State Police to know that he has their backs,” city cops “have nothing even remotely close to that kind of support from our city’s elected leaders.”
“Troopers may be patrolling city streets in increasing numbers, but they do not have to deal with a mayor who demonizes them for his own political gain, a City Council that imposes new burdens and second-guessing at every turn, or NYPD bosses who look to protect their own careers at the expense of the men and women they lead,” Lynch said.
“It also doesn’t hurt that state troopers are paid about 30 percent more than NYPD cops.”
At least four water bucket attacks on cops took place in Harlem, Brooklyn and The Bronx during last month’s heat wave.
One cop was even beaned in the head with an empty bucket while making an unrelated arrest.
The NYPD later busted three men, including a reputed Crops gang member on probation, although two were accused of dousing a civilian woman, and said 10 additional suspects were being sought.
An NYPD spokeswoman, Sgt. Mary Frances O’Donnell, responded to Cuomo’s remarks by saying, “The NYPD is the best-trained and most-skilled police department in the world.”
City Hall didn’t return a request for comment.
Additional reporting by Tina Moore and Bruce Golding