MANHATTAN (PIX11) -- PIX11 Investigates confirmed Tuesday evening that New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton has called a meeting with the NYPD’s five police unions at One Police Plaza for 4 p.m. Wednesday.
PIX11 News was told the meeting would not include Mayor Bill de Blasio, who met with the unions last week at the new NYPD Police Academy in Queens -- a session that did not resolve anything in the ongoing rift between the department’s rank and file and City Hall.
Tensions have escalated significantly between de Blasio and the cops ever since detectives Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were executed in their patrol car on a street in Bedford-Stuyvesant on December 20th.
A number of the union leaders stated publicly their belief that the Mayor’s political rhetoric contributed to an anti-police climate.
The killer, Ismaayal Brinsley, made reference to the controversial Eric Garner case on Staten Island, where a grand jury decided not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who had put the street vendor into some kind of chokehold, in his efforts to do a “take down” during Garner’s arrest in July.
The grand jury decision on Staten Island spawned a speech about racial injustice by de Blasio, weeks of protests by demonstrators that left some cops injured, and deep outrage when Ramos and Liu were assassinated.
Hundreds of uniformed police officers turned their backs as the Mayor delivered eulogies at both funerals, which were transmitted to mourners by a Jumbotron screen. Both officers were posthumously promoted to Detective, First Grade.
PIX11 Investigates received information within 24 hours of the Ramos/Liu executions that NYPD officers were encouraged not to make arrests or write summonses unless “absolutely necessary.” All 911 calls would be responded to with two patrol cars.
On December 22, Commissioner Bratton denied to PIX11 there was any kind of slowdown during a press conference at One Police Plaza.
By Monday, January 5, the Commissioner acknowledged they were keeping a very close eye on trends of the last two weeks.
Crime stats showed that arrests were down 56% for the final week of 2014, compared to the same period the year before.
The writing of parking tickets was down nearly 93% and DWI arrests during this holiday week plunged 67 percent, compared to the same time the year before.
Sergeant Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeant’s Benevolent Association—one of the unions that will meet with Commissioner Bratton Wednesday—said, “The Mayor needs to somehow find a way to humbly apologize. He’s been pretty much anti-police since his mayoral campaign.”
Richard Aborn of the Citizens Crime Commission told PIX11 Tuesday he doesn’t agree with this assessment of de Blasio.
“Stop and frisk had gone too far,” Aborn said of de Blasio’s vow to end much of the practice in NYPD policing. “He (de Blasio) was never anti-cop. He never said he was anti-cop. He’s very supportive of the cops. We have to separate a policy from a prior administration versus anti-cop rhetoric. The two are not the same. “
Aborn noted the crime stats announced by de Blasio and Commissioner Bratton Monday were impressive, with three less murders for 2014 compared to the last year of the Michael Bloomberg administration.
“Yes, we’ve had some uptick in shootings over the last year,” Aborn said, “but if you look at the 20 year cycle, we’re at the second-lowest level in 20 years.”
Sergeant Mullins said the Mayor needs to do a lot more than talk about crime statistics.
He noted when de Blasio attended the summit with the five unions last week, he kept saying he was supportive of cops.
“Two days later, he reappointed a judge who was anti-police,” Mullins said, referring to the New Year’s Eve reappointment of a justice who had released two suspects that made threats against police officers.