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August 20, 2018

Mayor Blasts Anti-Police Videos

Mayor Bill de Blasio is speaking out against a spate of recent videos featuring individuals insulting police.

One video was filmed inside a police precinct. Another took place on the street. In both, the people doing the filming curse at the police. There's also a video showing residents of a building in the Bronx harassing police that responded to a 911 call, and one where someone measures out marijuana — on the hood of a police van. 

The New York Post has been chronicling the videos, including a front page story with the headline "Diss is Nuts."

"I've seen some videos that disgust me," Mayor de Blasio said at an unrelated press conference. "They are not acceptable. Anyone who thinks it's cute, it's not cute. Knock it off. Show some respect."

The mayor noted that while there have been changes in marijuana enforcement, it's still illegal to possess it, smoke it and deal it, as is interfering with a police vehicle.  

The NYPD has underscored that filming in a precinct is prohibited, although the man in the video left on his own.

The man who filmed himself yelling at officers on the street was ultimately arrested for disorderly conduct. 

Patrick Lynch, president of the largest NYPD union, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, says the administration's policies have made criminals bolder. “The mayor and the NYPD's official response to these videos are mostly significant for what they fail to address: the broader public safety policies that have created this hostile environment, and the massive disincentives for police officers who take action to address it," he said in a statement.

As an example, the union pointed to a new policy it opposed called The Right to Know Act. Under the law, officers hand out business cards to people they encounter that include instructions on how to request body camera footage.