New York, NY – The New York Police Department’s (NYPD) internal affairs unit is investigating the president of the sergeants’ union after he declared “war” on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The threat came at the end of a Twitter battle between Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA) President Ed Mullins and the mayor after two officers were shot in less than 12 hours in the Bronx’s 41st Precinct, the New York Post reported.
“Police are being targeted. The anti cop tone infecting our city & state is causing bloodshed,” the SBA tweeted shortly after the second attack. “Before any public official sends their thoughts & prayers, they should ask themselves how the language & behavior they’ve been tolerating has contributed to violence against police.”
De Blasio took to Twitter with his thoughts within hours.
“It was a quiet Sunday morning when bullets started flying inside the 41st Precinct,” the mayor wrote. “Our officers handled it with heroism and extraordinary skill, showing the true caliber of the men and women who serve in the NYPD. Thank God our officers are alive.”
“This was a premeditated assassination attempt against New York’s Finest. It was also an attack on ALL New Yorkers and everything we believe in,” the mayor declared. “This MUST be a city where everyone can live in peace and respect. This individual attempted to destroy that. We will not let him win.”
The SBA subsequently declared “war” on the mayor in a scathing tweet.
“Mayor DeBlasio, the members of the NYPD are declaring war on you!” the message read. “We do not respect you, DO NOT visit us in hospitals. You sold the NYPD to the vile creatures, the 1% who hate cops but vote for you. NYPD cops have been assassinated because of you. This isn’t over, Game on!”
The Gothamist reported on Thursday that NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau (IAB) launched an investigation into Mullins, who is still an active NYPD sergeant, shortly thereafter.
But the investigation will not be limited to the declaration of war tweet.
Sources told The Gothamist that IAB was conducting a “deeper dive” into the union boss to include any offensive statements or social media posts and determine “whether those views undermine his capacity as a sergeant.”
Sgt. Mullins’ sent out a video to the union’s 13,000 members last summer that had a racist audio commentary over the action calling black people “monsters” and comparing public housing to a “war zone.”
After he was called on it, he apologized and said he hadn’t actually listened to the video prior to sharing it, The Gothamist reported.
“The probe will look at Mullins’ history of rash remarks to determine if they conflict with his commitment to public safety as a sworn officer,” an NYPD source told the New York Post.
IAB has already interviewed Sgt. Mullins once this year, after he told reporters that a murdered student from Barnard College was in the park to buy marijuana when she was stabbed to death.
De Blasio blasted Sgt. Mullins’ comments as “heartless” and “infuriating” and accused him of victim shaming, the New York Post reported.
Sources said IAB asked Sgt. Mullins where he’d gotten the information that Barnard freshman Tessa Majors was buying drugs when she was killed and he replied that he had been a cop for 38 years and “guessed it.”
IAB is investigating whether Sgt. Mullins’ remarks to de Blasio or about Major violated NYPD policies in the patrol guide, and whether any of it is punishable, the New York Post reported.