|PATRICK LYNCH: 'Stop the disrespect of cops'|
The attacks by police unions against Civilian Complaint Review Board Chair Richard Emery reignited last week with a television ad sponsored by the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association that called for Mayor de Blasio to fire him for supposedly referring to police officers as pigs.
“Stop the disrespect and support New York City police officers,” the ad said to Mr. de Blasio.
Stands by His Man
Asked to comment on the dispute, the Mayor indicated March 9 that he still supports his appointee.
“Under Chairman Emery, the CCRB is working more effectively for community members and police officers alike, driving average case-processing times and backlogs down dramatically,” he said in a statement.
“Chairman Emery has already apologized for his unfortunate language, and the law firm involved has made clear it will not represent any client who files a claim that is substantiated by the CCRB during the time Mr. Emery remains its Chair.”
The conflict started about a month ago when the PBA and the Sergeants Benevolent Association charged that Mr. Emery had violated ethics rules for city employees when the law firm in which he is a partner, Emery Celli Brinckerhoff and Abady, took over a lawsuit filed against the city by a man whose complaint to the CCRB had been upheld.
The unions said that Mr. Emery had run afoul of ethics laws by making a private profit off work he performed for the city. The CCRB responded that Mr. Emery had permission from the city Conflicts of Interest Board to do whatever he was doing. But COIB advisories are confidential by law, and neither agency would discuss exactly what Mr. Emery was told.
The temperature rose after Mr. Emery told the Daily News that he would not deny CCRB complainants good lawyers because “some union is squealing like a stuck pig.” PBA President Patrick J. Lynch and SBA President Edward D. Mullins maintained that Mr. Emery had called cops “pigs” and was unfit to head the CCRB.
In fact, the idiom “squeal like a stuck pig” has nothing to do with the slur against police officers that came into common use starting with protesters at the 1968 Democratic Convention. It derives from the Victorian-era practice of British officers in India who hunted wild pigs with spears while on horseback.
‘We Call Them Cops’
The PBA ad, which ran from March 8 to 14 on NY1, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and News 12, began, “We call them cops. Police officers. New York’s Finest. But this is what Richard Emery, chairman of the CCRB, calls them.”
A tabloid front page with the headline “Blaz Big Calls Cop Union ‘Pigs’” flashes on the screen.
“Emery is supposed to handle civilian complaints fairly and independently, but his law firm is seeking fees for those very same cases,” the ad continues. “And he calls cops pigs?
“Mayor de Blasio, police sacrifice daily to help keep this city safe. All they ask for in return is respect. You can start by firing Richard Emery.”