Brooklyn, NY – The New York Police Department (NYPD) sergeant’s union said the mass shooting at the annual Old-Timers Day block party in Brownsville was proof that the city was “slowly crumbling” and called for the resignation of NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill.
Commissioner O’Neill called Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins a “keyboard gangster” in response, the New York Daily News reported.
Mullins blasted Commissioner O’Neill in an email sent to union members on Sunday that included a narrative of the incident the night before that described angry citizens threatening police officers who were trying to deal with the bloody scene that left one person dead and 12 more wounded by gunfire.
“This incident happened in the very same Precinct where cops had buckets of water tossed on them,” Mullins wrote. “None of it is funny, 12 people were shot, someone is dead, and cops were hit with water. NYC is slowly crumbling. Don’t say you weren’t warned. Restore the NYPD – REMOVE O’NEILL.”
The email said the details of the ugly scene were provided by an officer who responded to shots fired at the block party.
“The shooting happened at Old Timers Day, which is annual event within the 73 pct. This is essentially a giant block party for a large area within the 73 pct. DeBlasio tweeted it is a peaceful celebration, however that is NEVER the case,” the officer wrote.
“Having worked it in the past and talking with other cops in the 73 pct. and Brooklyn North, there is always some type of violence that occurs,” the officer continued.
The officer described the frightening mob that officers encountered as they tried to deal with the victims of what was the worst single shooting incident to happen in any of the five boroughs since 2013, according to the Brooklyn Eagle.
“When we got to the scene, we were directed to Hegeman and New Lots Avenue where there were many people, into the hundreds gathered at their nearby residence called the Plaza… We were then directed to go to the courtyard where approximately 500 people were still hanging out drinking and smoking weed,” the officer explained.
“Upon first going back there, we were informed to clear everyone out of the area. However, we were told not to take any action because Brooklyn DA Gonzalez was at the 73 Precinct,” he wrote.
“The crowd was non-compliant and extremely agitated that we were there. They DID NOT LISTEN to our commands. Eventually individuals that did not comply were arrested which totaled 40. Most were charged with disorderly conduct and O.G.A.,” the officer said.
“Chief Maddrey showed up and told us to exit the courtyard and stand by on the outskirts. The scene was nothing short of a WAR ZONE and one of the craziest incidents I have ever seen in all my years in the NYPD!” the officer continued. “People were yelling vulgar and vile things at all the Cops, such as WE WISH YOU WOULD DIE and a litany of other horrific terms.”
The officer went on to explain the difference between the 2019 block party and those held in prior years, which didn’t sound like much.
“In the previous years I worked this event violence included people shot and numerous calls for multiple shots fired. However, also in the past we were directed to not enforce drinking or other low-level offenses,” the officer wrote. “Despite all the recent attacks on cops all the officers did their job last night valiantly and did not let the crowds get in their way.”
Commissioner O’Neill pushed back against the police union and its president, specifically, during a media availability following an NYPD promotion ceremony on Monday, the New York Daily News reported.
Mullins has previously referred to the commissioner as “O’Kneel” in tweets about his response to the water attacks on NYPD officers in recent weeks.
“Quite frankly, I haven’t seen that guy around at any department function," Commissioner O’Neill defended himself. "He’s a bit of keyboard gangster. We’re here to keep the city safe. We’re here to keep the cops safe and if you want to second guess us, think we don’t care about cops, man, you are dead wrong. You’re in the wrong business. He should re-think his position.”
Viral cell phone videos of NYPD officers across the city being doused on duty have enraged the city’s police force and the union, who blamed New York’s “anti-cop” leaders for the officers’ refusal to take any action during the attacks, the New York Daily News reported.
One of the videos showed two officers in Brooklyn’s Brownsville neighborhood, where Saturday’s mass shooting occurred, as they were repeatedly doused with water as they silently walked down the sidewalk.
According to police sources, the officers had been called to a report of an unruly mob on East New York Avenue, but turned away and left when the group began attacking them with water, the New York Daily News reported.
“The liquids in the buckets could just as easily have been bleach, gasoline, or some other toxic substance,” Mullins explained.
The union president said that the videos of the officers being doused were “horrific and dangerous,” and blamed New York Police Commissioner James O’Neill and Mayor Bill de Blasio for the “lawless behavior and utter disregard for law enforcement” manifested in the footage.
“The perpetrators of these crimes are emboldened by the Mayor, who has shown nothing but disdain and contempt for the police since January 2014, when he was sworn into his first term,” Mullins railed.