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New York City Police Department officers are retiring early after losing support from their higher-ups and from political leaders amid mass protests and riots over the death of George Floyd, according to current and former officers.
NYPD officers have worked consistent 12-hour shifts to curb the violence that has ripped through the city and destroyed dozens of businesses. Rioters have looted stores and injured hundreds of law enforcement officers, according to the police, via the New York Post.
Now, rank-and-file officers are electing to take their pensions and exit the force rather than stay in and cooperate with NYPD and political leadership that appears to be more interested in appeasing mobs than backing their police officers, an NYPD sergeant told The Washington Examiner.
“At our level, it’s hard to say, but in the past, you felt like chiefs like [Joseph] Esposito had your back. Even Ray Kelly. Without Rudy [Giuliani], or even with [Michael] Bloomberg, things have changed,” the unnamed sergeant said. “The [Sergeants Benevolent Association] and the thousands I’ve sent them to provide me with a lawyer and dental plan. Very important. No one else will back us at this point. Chiefs taking knees and humiliating themselves.”
On June 1, NYPD Chief Terence Monahan knelt in front of protesters in an effort to stop the episodes of violence that had broken out at the Floyd protests.
Former NYPD homicide detective Rob O’Donnell said that “three close friends” on the force have already retired and taken their pensions instead of spending another two or three years with the NYPD.
Bernard Kerik, a former New York City Police commissioner, appeared on Fox News on Sunday and said that a flood of retirements has hit the NYPD since the Floyd protests began.
“You have some in the hospital, but there were over 300 injuries. And the thing that scares me, judge, I’m hearing close to 600 cops have either put in their papers, or they’re talking to the department about resigning or retiring like this is insane,” Kerik told Fox News host Jeanine Pirro.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has had a strained relationship with his police force throughout his tenure, but the relationship has gotten more unsteady in the wake of the violent riots. De Blasio announced a new administrative push on Sunday to cut the budget of the NYPD and redirect the funds to other community investments.
“We’re committed to seeing a shift of funding to youth services, to social services, that will happen literally in the course of the next three weeks, but I’m not going to go into detail because it is subject to negotiation and we want to figure out what makes sense,” the mayor said without going into detail on the proposal.
The mayor has also come under harsh criticism from police unions that represent the NYPD’s captains and officers. Captains’ Endowment Association President Chris Monahan sent a letter to members on Saturday ripping de Blasio and warning that officers should be careful and expect minimal assistance from the city if they have to make a tough choice.
“They do not have your back and will use you as a political pawn!” Monahan said in the letter. “My assessment is ‘Hands off the protester/looter you will be assaulted by them. Hands-on the protester/looter you will be assaulted by our elected officials.’ BE CAREFUL!”
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