NEW YORK — The NYPD has suspended an officer seen into videos posted to Twitter Saturday night that the officer using the bullhorn on his marked police vehicle to shout “Trump 2020.”
The suspension is effective immediately without pay, the NYPD said Sunday.
Suspended without pay; The police officer who is under investigation for using a department vehicle’s loud speaker for political purposes has been suspended, effective immediately.— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) October 25, 2020
Brandon K Hines, who posted one videos, said it was taken in Flatbush, Brooklyn.
“Trump 2020. Put it on YouTube. Put it on Facebook,” the officer says as the vehicle sits at an intersection with its emergency lights on.
The officer also encourages an unseen person to “take a picture” several times and calls them a “tough guy.”
Another video posted by Talia Jane, who identifies as an indie reporter, shows the same incident from a different angle.
“NYPD officers in Flatbush were allegedly saying ‘Trump 2020’ over and over again on their patrol car’s speaker tonight. They stopped when someone started filming but couldn’t resist one more — in violation of the NYPD’s policy against endorsing candidates on duty,” she wrote along with the video, which does not appear to have been recorded by her.
It’s unclear what the circumstances were before the video begins.
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea on Sunday called the video “[100%] unacceptable. Period.”
“Law enforcement must remain apolitical, it is essential in our role to serve ALL New Yorkers regardless of any political beliefs,” Shea said. “It is essential for New Yorkers to trust their police. Updates to follow after initial investigation.”
The video is under investigation by the Brooklyn South Investigation Unit, according to the NYPD.
Mayor Bill de Blasio also commented on the video Sunday.
“Let me be clear: Any NYPD officer pushing any political agenda while on duty will face consequences. We will act fast here, and this will not be tolerated,” de Blasio said.
Sgt. Ed Mullins, President of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, issued a statement Sunday.
“The NYPD has a history of officers making political or outside the norm social statements either on video or other social media and ignoring it completely,” Mullins said. “The act of suspending this officer is unnecessary, way over the top and could of been addressed with an instruction of department policy. It wasn’t too long ago the Chief of Departrnent took a knee in full uniform with protesters and no disciplinary action was issued.”
Mullins also accused police leaders of a political bias and double standard.
“I guess we are left to wonder — if the officer supported Joe Biden would he have been suspended?,” Mullins asked.