New York, NY – New York Police Department (NYPD) Chief of Department Terence Monahan is on the hot seat with the rank-and-file on his police force after comments he made during a CompStat meeting on Thursday were interpreted as insulting to hero officers who have died in the line of duty (video below).
The incident occurred during a meeting on July 23 after a deputy chief told Chief Monahan that officers were concerned about a controversial new city law that makes it a crime for officers to kneel on the back or chest of a suspect, the New York Post reported.
“They’re concerned about [taking] a bag of crack off the right person, the right dealer, and their knee accidentally — unintentionally — going on their back,” NYPD Deputy Chief Brian McGee, the commanding officer of the Manhattan North detective bureau, told the chief.
“You know what?” Chief Monahan interrupted Chief McGee. “I wasn’t afraid when I was fighting the guy on the Brooklyn Bridge. We can’t be afraid.”
The chief was referring to an incident with protesters on the Brooklyn Bridge that left him with bruises and jammed fingers and several other officers more seriously injured.
The suspects accused of assaulting the police officials were arrested but later released without bail.
“What happens to afraid cops is, they end up dead. And that’s what happens,” Chief Monahan told the CompStat meeting.
“That’s why there are so many guns out there,” he continued. “We can’t be afraid. You’ve got every DA come out and say they’re not gonna charge that [knee on suspect’s back]. We can’t be afraid of doing what we do. We can’t walk away.”
The video of the meeting showed NYPD Assistant Chief Kathleen O’Reilly, commanding officer of Patrol Borough Manhattan North, spoke up and supported Chief McGee.
“Chief, but we can’t put our people in harm’s way unnecessarily” Chief O’Reilly began.
But Chief Monahan cut her off, the video showed.
“So, not making an arrest on a B felony is putting ‘em in harm’s way?” the chief continued. “I’m talking about a B felony.”
“A sale, hand-to-hand sale, that we shouldn’t be afraid to go and make [an arrest for] a hand-to-hand sale,” he insisted.
Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch said released a statement that said the union hadn’t heard anything about district attorneys saying they wouldn’t prosecute, WABC reported.
“Chief Monahan claims that all five DAs agree that the City Council’s insane ‘no touch’ arrest law is invalid and they won’t prosecute it,” Lynch wrote. “That is news to us. If every DA believes that, they need to say so publicly to the cops on the street. Otherwise, we have to assume that we are risking arrest any time we lay hands on a criminal who won’t go quietly.”
“Chief Monahan’s head-in-the-sand mentality isn’t helping us do our job,” the union boss added.
On Friday, Staten Island district attorney said he couldn’t make a wholesale commitment not to prosecute officers under the new law, WABC reported.
The other NYPD unions also reacted with shock and disappointment to Chief Monahan’s remarks, the New York Post reported.
“By no means are narcotics detectives afraid of doing their jobs,” Detectives Endowment Association President Paul DiGiacomo said. “They’re afraid of the lack of support from the district attorneys and elected officials who enacted these irresponsible laws.”
“It’s the district attorneys that are not prosecuting these arrests when narcotics detectives are risking their lives when they’re out there every day doing their jobs,” DiGiacomo explained. “Nobody’s said they’re not arresting us and most of the district attorneys are not prosecuting narcotics-related cases.”
The Sergeant’s Benevolent Association (SBA) made a video that they posted to YouTube that reprimanded Chief Monahan for his remarks.
It began with a clip of the CompStat meeting followed by headlines about murdered officers.
“Chief Monahan, they were not afraid, they were heroes,” the screen read.
Then a voiceover said “You owe their families an apology.”
A video showed the now notorious picture of Chief Monahan kneeling in solidarity with Black Lives Matter protesters that so deeply infuriated the rank-and-file at the time.
“No more quotas. Back your cops. Or resign,” the voice ended the video.
Watch the SBA’s video here below: