NEW YORK — City police officers take an oath to protect and serve — now, the NYPD is looking into the possibility that some of its members have also pledged loyalty to a far-right extremist group.
Any ties to extremist group The Oath Keepers will disqualify officers from serving the city, Mayor de Blasio said. The Oath Keepers were present at the Capitol during a violent insurrection on Jan. 6.
“We need a full investigation,” de Blasio said.
PIX11 has learned that two members of the NYPD — an officer and a sergeant assigned to the department’s Strategic Response Group — have reported ties to the far-right group. The SRG unit is responsible for responding to major events in the city, including unrest during protests related to the Black Lives Matter movement.
“This man, who was put in charge and given a position of leadership in response to protests is himself an Oath Keeper … who does not believe in racial equity,” civil rights leader Kirsten Foy said. “There must be a reckoning within the NYPD.”
The allegations are troubling to retired NYPD Chief of Patrol Wilbur Chapman, who spoke to PIX11 by phone.
“Being a police officer is not a civil right,” he said, “it’s a privilege and an honor. It comes with the responsibility of protecting all of those in the city and being colorblind.”
The Oath Keepers were founded in 2009, according to their official website, and their stated mission is to “defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” De Blasio, however, said the group is more sinister and “trying to destroy our democratic freedoms.”
The mayor said he will conduct a full investigation into the allegations. In a statement, the NYPD said it is doing its own internal review of the situation.