I recently posted a question: Was PBA president Pat Lynch’s use of the word “mutt” racist when he used it to describe a black youth who dragged a detective in a stolen car, causing him permanent brain injuries? A check of news clips shows that Lynch has used the term in the last decade for both black and Hispanic defendants.
Some of the emailed answers are below and most are on condition that the respondents’ names not be used so they could speak freely.
Ex-U.S. customs officer, N.J.: “As a long-time reader with 32+ years in federal law enforcement, your description of ‘mutt’ is correct . . . It refers to all low-life criminals REGARDLESS of racial and/or ethnic background. The individuals making such an uproar, like those claiming that pictures of coal miners and Mary Poppins chimney sweeps are racist, are frankly race-baiters and need to be called out as such, regardless of their estimable positions in life.”
Ex-NYPD officer, NYC: “ ‘Mutt’ is an equal opportunity moniker . . . Is everyone that sensitive? Where does it end? I’m no fan of Rodney King but he asked one question that I see we still have not answered: ‘Why can’t we all just get along?’ ”
Ex-NYPD Officer Frank Grimes, Mexico: “A black cop with whom I worked . . . made me understand what it was like raising a young son and daughter when every one [in] the TV commercials was White . . . How would I have come to that concept on my own? That conversation took place in the Spotlight bar on 8th, between 125th and 126th Streets.”
Attorney, NYC: “I believe most of the problem lies with PBA President P. Lynch. He is a showman and theatrical, with over the top responses to crimes against patrol officers. He seems to be always angry in public. A wiser police union leader who wants respect should reflect a more calm public appearance . . . ”
Ex-NYPD chief: “I don’t believe Pat meant any racial animosity. I have never seen any indication of this. But I have never heard of any police official using a derogatory term against any person who was not a person of color. Remember Robert Chambers, who murdered a young girl in Central Park? He was termed the Preppie Killer by all. Do I have a word I can offer instead of Preppie? Yes. Mutt.”
Ex-NYPD officer, Long Island: “Assuming you are Jewish I have to believe that over the many years you have been covering the NYPD, you may have [been] called a mutt many times.”
Last week, Christopher Ransom’s alleged attempted robbery a T-Mobile store in Richmond Hill led to the fatal friendly-fire shooting of Det. Brian Simonsen. Does the word “mutt” apply to Ransom? Does it matter whether he is black or white?