August 26, 2016, 4:00 AM
By EDITORIAL BOARD
|Dave Clarke jive (BLOOMBERG/BLOOMBERG VIA GETTY IMAGES)|
Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch made an abhorrent choice in tapping Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. the police union’s Person of the Year.
The honor is supposed to go to “one individual who has made an outstanding contribution to New York City police officers or the law enforcement community.”
Instead, Lynch hugs a man whose main distinction has been to escalate the so-called war between police and those who in good faith seek reforms to the way law enforcement does business.
Clarke, largely unknown to the average New Yorker, made his name as an African-American law-enforcer who routinely throws rhetorical rocks at Black Lives Matter — a movement he derisively labels Black Lies Matter.
This attitude got Clarke a prominent speaking role at this year’s Republican National Convention, where he gave Donald Trump a ringing endorsement. Clarke’s litany of acerbic tweets on race and crime would do Trump proud. To wit:
“Democrats have replaced plantation with ghetto”; “[the] policies of liberal Democrats are [nothing] other than misery-inducing, divisive, exploitative and racist manipulation of the urban populations”; Black Lives Matter is “the enemy” in “guerilla urban warfare” against cops.
This isn’t a war that brave members of the NYPD, whose politics run the gamut, and whose mission rightly include strengthening ties with the communities they serve, should join.
Lynch had many men and women from which to choose.
The officers of the NYPD’s 113th Precinct in Southeast Queens saw to it that William Brown, a nonagenarian former cop, had help in his time of need. Officer Nina Friberg saved a suicidal woman from jumping off a building. Sgt. Hameed Armani and Officer Peter Cybulski kept their cool when a fake bomb was thrown at their vehicle. Officers Ariel Zaremba and George Lippi saved an unresponsive toddler’s life.
If he really wanted to pick a police leader, Lynch could have given outgoing Commissioner Bill Bratton a pat on the back.
He ignored heroes to decorate a divider.