The president of the largest NYPD union has stepped up to defend the officer that roughed up Black retired tennis star, James Blake. Patrick Lynch, president of the New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, said in a written statement that critics of officer James Frascatore are “not qualified” to judge the actions of police officers during arrests.
As reported by Capital New York, Lynch issued a public statement addressed to “all of those inclined to jump to conclusions,” which seemed to be pointed most especially at the media. Lynch’s words were also sharply aimed others who have openly decried the NYPD’s record of police brutality, yet the union head stood by Frascatore despite his record of complaints filed by citizens he’s manhandled in the past.
From Capital New York:
In his letter, Lynch said Frascatore was being unfairly judged.
“If you have never struggled with someone who is resisting arrest or who pulled a gun or knife on you when you approached them for breaking a law, then you are not qualified to judge the actions of police officers putting themselves in harm’s way for the public good,” he wrote.
“The men and women of the NYPD are once again disheartened to read another knee-jerk reaction from ivory tower pundits who enjoy the safety provided by our police department without understanding the very real risks that we take to provide that safety,” Lynch also wrote.
Frascatore has been placed on modified duty amid an ongoing probe, officials have said.
Frascatore’s takedown of Blake, which was captured on hotel security video released by the NYPD last week, was criticized this morning by Ray Kelly, who led the NYPD for 12 years during the Michael Bloomberg administration. In an interview with WNYC’s Brian Lehrer, Kelly — no ally of Bratton or de Blasio — agreed that Frascetore’s behavior appeared inappropriate.
Raw Story reported that Blake’s attorney, Kevin Marino, responded by saying Lynch’s letter was “far more than nonsense” in a written response.