NYPD Police Commissioner James O’Neill on Sunday morning scoffed at the possibility of a police slowdown in response Officer Daniel Pantaleo’s firing — despite a cop-union’s calls for members to take “extreme caution” when doing routine police work in the wake of the ruling.
Hours after O’Neill announced Monday that Pantaleo was fired for using a banned chokehold that led to Eric Garner’s death, Police Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch called for a union “no confidence” vote in the commissioner and Mayor Bill de Blasio, with the union tweeting “#JobisDead”
PBA members also blanketed precincts with union flyers on Tuesday urging cops to use “extreme caution” when busting suspects to avoid Pantaleo’s fate — a move some feared could lead to police inaction.
But O’Neill said cops are still plugging away.
“It bothers me, but NYPD cops are best in the country,” O’Neill told ABC 7 on Sunday. “They are going to keep this city safe and they have to, no matter what happens… They are not going to stop doing what they do. I know they voted no confidence in me but I have all the confidence in the police officers of New York City, the NYPD, and the great job that they do each day. To say the job is dead is irresponsible.”
Still, the commissioner said the response union’s response was “not unexpected” and “a little frustrating to hear” — but he still has respect for “Patty.”
“Pat, even through all this I still have respect for him. He’s doing what he thinks is right for his membership. I don’t agree with him. The job is not dead. He probably doesn’t believe that. As a union president, I’m not sure why he’s taking that tact,” O’Neill said, adding that it “may take a while” for the two to talk again.
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