Gov. Slams NYPD For Walking From Water Attacks, Says Pantaleo Should Be Fired

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he was embarrassed by NYPD officers' responses to water attacks by citizens.

Albany, NY – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo took a cheap shot at New York Police Department (NYPD) officers on Monday when he said their response to water attacks made them appear “impotent” at the same time that he has called for Officer Daniel Pantaleo to be fired.

NYPD officers have been seen on viral videos walking away from citizens who dumped and threw buckets of water at them rather than making arrests at the time they’re doused.

“The video of the cops getting doused with water and walking away was one of the most disturbing and embarrassing actions I’ve seen,” Cuomo told WAMC during a roundtable discussion on Monday.

“I don’t blame those officers – they were relatively new. I look to the training and the policies of the police department that would have instructed them to act that way,” the governor added.

Cuomo cast doubt on the ability of NYPD officers to protect the citizens if they couldn’t protect themselves.

“If a police officer is being assaulted, the police officer has to do something,” he said. “Because, by the way, if the police officer isn’t willing to defend himself or herself, how are they going to defend me? The training is off. It’s off!”

The governor pointed the finger at New York Mayor Bill de Blasio during his interview with WAMC.

“That is wholly unacceptable,” Cuomo ranted. “Forget the old days, law enforcement has to be respected. And when they show up they have to be respected. And the NYPD training – yes, sensitivity to the community needs, etc. - but I don’t know how we’re training police officers. How when you are basically assaulted – and that’s an assault - you retreat? You will make law enforcement impotent and that will hurt everybody.”

“You know the community needs law enforcement to be effective and to be respected, so it’s a two-way street,” the governor continued.

“The training has to be, you don’t turn around and get back in the car and drive away,” Cuomo said. “You literally make law enforcement ineffective and impotent and that hurts everyone.”

“You’re assaulted, you take the perpetrator into custody,” he said.

While the governor stopped short of saying de Blasio had done a bad job with the NYPD, he did make a comparison with the New York State Police.

“But I can tell you this, if that ever happened to the state police, I would bet ya my bottom dollar that you would not see state police officers assaulted and they turn around and get back in the car,” Cuomo told WAMC.

It's not clear how Cuomo would have felt if the water suspects resisted arrest and force needed to be used to take them into custody, which is what happened during the arrest of Eric Garner.

Even as he was criticizing NYPD officers for inaction in the water attacks, he called for Officer Pantaleo to be fired for the arrest of Eric Garner and put responsibility for handling both matters squarely at the feet of de Blasio.

“The police department works with the mayor. The mayor is responsible. And we’ll see what he does on both these matters. But I think both situations require his intervention and action,” the governor said.

On Aug. 2, NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Trials Rosemarie Maldonado issued a non-binding verdict that said Officer Pantaleo was guilty of using a chokehold on Eric Garner and recommended the officer be fired.

NYPD Police Commissioner James O’Neill will make the ultimate determination about the fate of the officer’s employment, but in the meantime, Officer Pantaleo was suspended, which is customary when a city employee has received a recommendation for termination.

The officer has been on desk duty since the incident occurred five years ago.

Garner was arrested by NYPD officers on July 17, 2014, after police stopped him for selling individual, untaxed loose cigarettes on a city sidewalk.

He resisted arrest and fought with officers who struggled to take the 350-pound man into custody.

In the process of subduing Garner, video taken by witnesses showed that Officer Pantaleo had his arm around Garner's neck and pressed his face against the sidewalk.

Garner repeatedly told officers “I can’t breathe,” a phrase that became a rallying cry for Black Lives Matter in the months that followed.

Officer Pantaleo later said he tried to use a “seatbelt maneuver” on Garner, and did not mean to put the much larger man into a choke hold.

Garner lost consciousness on the sidewalk, and died in the hospital an hour later from a medical emergency.

The autopsy report showed no damage to any area of his neck, and it was determined that he died of a medical emergency induced by officers who were arresting him. The medical examiner declared it was a homicide.

A New York Grand Jury declined to indict on any criminal charges.

The federal inquiry dragged on for five years until the U.S. attorney said federal prosecutors would not be filing charges because “the evidence does not support charging Police Officer Pantaleo with a federal civil rights violation.”

He also said federal prosecutors could not prove that the officer “willfully used excessive force to violate Mr. Garner’s rights as required under the law,” The New York Times reported.

Police Benevolent Association (PBA) President Patrick Lynch warned of the impact on the entire police force if Commissioner O’Neill took the administrative judge’s recommendation to fire Officer Pantaleo.

"This decision is pure political insanity. If it is allowed to stand, it will paralyze the NYPD for years to come," PBA President Patrick Lynch said in a statement when the verdict was announced.

After hearing Cuomo’s remarks about the water attacks, the union boss weighed in, the New York Post reported.

“Gov. Cuomo is right: the NYPD is frozen, but don’t blame the cops. Instead, blame the complete lack of leadership from City Hall,” Lynch said.

But despite what he said about bad training making the NYPD “impotent,” the governor still thinks Officer Pantaleo should be fired.

“We have a judge who said the officer in the Eric Garner case should be fired. In our society we say we follow the judge’s orders and I think that’s appropriate,” Cuomo said on Saturday, the New York Post reported. “When a judge says an officer should be fired because they did something wrong, I believe the officer should be fired.”

He told WAMC that he has no authority to do anything about the mayor or his decisions in either situation.

“But I do think the mayor should act,” the governor said. “The police commissioner works for the mayor. The Eric Garner matter has gone on for five years. Justice delayed is justice denied.”

Comments (56)
No. 1-27
wmc50
wmc50

Is this some kind of joke? An article from The Onion or The Babylon Bee?

His Honor is right to be concerned about the NYPD backing down from being assaulted. I'll give him that. But the fact that one judge opined that Officer Pantaleo should be fired is just that, his opinion.

The ME report stared "Garner's autopsy report determined that he died of a medical emergency induced by officers who were arresting him. The medical examiner declared it was a homicide".

It would be very nice if the ME would have stated exactly what the hell that meant.

A New York Grand Jury declined to prosecute. The US DOJ declined to prosecute. An Administrative Law Judge disagreed...well there's that.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

This whole cops demanding respect thing is what makes you look impotent. Not getting splashed with water.

Just-My-Thoughts
Just-My-Thoughts

If the officers tried to arrest anyone they were undermanned and they could have been attacked by others. Water makes it a slippery situation also. Someone could have tried to take their weapons and used them against them. Let the Gov. go on a ride a long and see how he would deal with these people. Oh, and most importantly, BLM would have cried racism yet once again, it was just water, what harm was that and the cops over reacted....... I'd be looking for another job and out of NYPD asap.

Ron1617
Ron1617

The Gov. has no clue what he is talking about. He is part of the problem in NY with the restrictive laws he has put through. I agree the cops in the water incidents looked impotent, but had they taken action they would have been pounced on by the rest of the mob that was there causing possible injuries to themselves.

Gmickel
Gmickel

If the officers would have reacted the way they should have they would have been fired for excessive use of force and protests would have ignited.

RamblinRose
RamblinRose

Anytime a police officer in NYC tries to do his job, there are riots from the idiots the police try to protect, then some clown judge thinks he should be fired. Police in NYC are damned if they do and damned if they don't. I don't know why ANYONE would want to be a police officer in that town.

Janken
Janken

The cops did the right thing. If they would ha e knocked one of those idiots down all hell would have happened and if a cop would have shot one of those idiots it would have caused a riot. This is the mentality of those idiots and family. These people dont act like normal people

MKD23
MKD23

FK you AND that piece of shit Mayor! You can’t have it both ways! You and your ilk are tying the hands of every NYPD cop! FKED if you do, F**KED if you don’t!

BerettaAPX
BerettaAPX

Cuomo would be the first to call for the officer to be arrested if one of those black dindus resisted arrest after they tossed the water. Liberalism is a mental disorder

IseeWhereThisIsGoing
IseeWhereThisIsGoing

I will agree with the governor on one part: the NYPD should NOT have walked away from a water attack. But we all know that when the attacker resisted arrest, and had to be arrested by force, their would have been protests in the streets. Amazing, cops get thrown to the wolves by politicians when they do their jobs, and when they walk away from an assault.... can't win in this current political climate

Bigyoda20
Bigyoda20

Seems NYPD officers are “damned if they do, damned if they don’t”. If I were one of them I would take the less damned route which would be hands off. Why risk your career and possibly prison time for some bullshit civil rights or “excessive force” violation.

Tinman59
Tinman59

This idiot governor and the idiot mayor are what emboldens these animals. Both can drop dead.

James Robinson
James Robinson

Funny that the Gov didn't say a fu king word when his punk ass brother got into an accident where people said he was drunk and then drove away leaving his lawyer wife to deal with cops. Great training to have integrity your Dad taught him.

NTPD935Ret
NTPD935Ret

This man is such a fool.

HAWAIIBLUE
HAWAIIBLUE

the governor is an F’ing clown. Guys like this will jump on the bandwagon that will help their political careers. In this case and every other it’s the bending over for the whining public bandwagon, and this fucker is the driver!

RB2207
RB2207

If the officers did do something about being assaulted with water, they would have been criticized for using excessive force, and "its just water". No matter what LEO can't win, everything they do is wrong now.

DarrellB
DarrellB

Coward Coumo is in reelection mode. Anyone and anything can be sacrificed to retain power. Don't like his view? Tell him! Call 1-518-474-8390

Dark_ePoch
Dark_ePoch

The Gov also failed to hold those throwing the water accountable. Which is the biggest problem of all. This was a defacto acceptance of the water assaults. He says it's ok to douse cops with water and for the officers to arrest them.

But...... If you use force and anyone arbitrarily decides it was "excessive" you'll be fires without due process like DeBlasio alsaid he would start doing.

The express
The express

It's very sad that this poor mother has two sons and they're both assholes.

RetCanMilSpouse
RetCanMilSpouse

From what I've read about the water attacks, the officers were already engaged in making arrests and unable to go after their attackers. Am I incorrect?

charlesjandecka
charlesjandecka

Those who have been at war, on "the streets" or in a rice patty, know prudence will trump reaction every time!

FSchloss
FSchloss

Dear Governor Cuomo:

When this sort of behavior occurs, and the police walk away from obvious violations committed against themselves, it's a sure sign that they have no faith in their superiors and their local prosecutors. They don't believe that they have the backing of their assorted Chiefs, nor of their prosecutors, and believe that they'll be punished rather than the individual who committed the offense against them. That means, sir, that you should be looking at Deblasio and his ilk. After all, he's the ultimate decision maker in New York, and he's the one who's made moves to punish NYPD officers before investigations of incidents are completed. Frankly, I'm surprised that there are any officers at all working for NYPD. Remember when they were thought of as the epitome of police departments? Well, that distinction was lost a long time ago, sir. A long damned time ago.

61mouse
61mouse

"impotent" it's because of the douch bags ...Coumo, police chief,police commissioner and the animals the thugs

61mouse
61mouse

Coumo what were the cops who got water thrown at them ?? They were looking for the ghetto lottery.. For fear of retaliation from their own department .

Bobholly79
Bobholly79

Really POS CUOMO??

You created this atmosphere and now your “shocked”?

Your worse than the man who stole the Tappan Zee Bridge!

Andvari
Andvari

I have so much respect for these officers, I would not have been able to keep my composure. I would have taken someone in, then I would be sued and most likely lost my job. My face would be on every national news network and not in a good way. Kudos for doing the right thing. Cuomo has bashed the police in the past and it is know he supports criminals over police from what I have seen. You sometimes have to diffuse a situation before it turns into a riot. Had an officer made an arrest in any one of these incidents, I guarantee there would have been a riot and a couple of officers against an angry mob is not something I want to read about.

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

Maybe the Gov should put on a uniform and walk that same neighborhood. Show everybody how it's done.