NYC officials blast police union boss for sharing ‘alternative facts’ with President Trump

PBA President Pat Lynch at the Bronx Hall of Justice on Feb. 14. (Photo by Mark Hallum)

Some elected officials are crying foul on claims that NYPD Patrolman’s Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch made during a meeting with President Donald Trump on Friday.

While taking part in a meeting between Trump and the National Association of Police Organizations, Lynch asked the president for assistance dealing with Mayor Bill de Blasio and legislative bodies he believes are bent on removing power from the NYPD in response most recently to the killing of George Floyd, which resulted in ongoing unrest across the nation.

“We have a progressive mayor that is anti-police, the city council is anti-police and the state house is anti-police, so they’re changing the law where it’s becoming impossible to do our job,” Lynch said during the meeting.

“So the mayor tells you, ‘you cannot do that,’ your job is to keep people safe. So is that a higher calling than listening to a mayor?” Trump asked in response.

“They’re the bosses in our town so we have to go by the rules they set. The problem is that the rules they are setting, the laws they are passing, are making it impossible because what happens then is we are criminally charged,” Lynch continued. “It’s disgraceful. It’s like they’ve reversed the world … I have 36 years on the job and I’ve never seen it this bad, sir.”

According to Lynch, crime in 2020 mirrors that of the 1980s and 1990s, referred to loosely between the two as the “Dinkins era.” That claim contrasts with actual NYPD statistics, which show that the murder rate, while climbing, is still lower than it was in three decades ago.

City Councilman Richie Torres pointed out that 2,245 murders were recorded in 1990 while 227 murders have taken place in 2020 as of July 26.

“[Are] 227 murders too many? Yes. Worse than the 90s? No. Lynch is off by more than two thousand murders,” Torres added.

On June 12, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill introduced in 2019: the Eric Garner Anti-Chokehold Act. 

The city had it’s own bill banning the use of any grapple hold by the police that restricts airflow that passed just days later with a veto proof majority.

“To be clear, the law that Pat Lynch and Donald Trump are complaining here is making it “impossible” for police to do their jobs is that they not choke people to death,” Councilman Brad Lander said.

Although discussions between Lynch and Trump revolved around the mayor, city council and the state legislature, de Blasio himself has not been viewed as a friend of police reform advocates who criticized NYPD’s massive $6 billion budget, now reduced to around $5 billion in the most recently adopted budget.