Seeking to speed the implementation of reforms it has already agreed to in a settlement, New York City on Wednesday asked a federal appeals court to drop the city’s appeals and lift the stay of a judge’s ruling that its police stop-and-frisk tactic sometimes discriminates against minorities.
The law department asked to drop the cases after a lower-court judge last week concluded that police unions lacked standing to carry on the cases in the city’s absence.
Morale among police is at a low following a spate of council votes and court decisions last year limiting their discretion in making arrests, the president of a powerful police union said Wednesday.
Patrick Lynch of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association said that comments from Mayor Bill de Blasio, along with a new legitimacy given by City Hall to Al Sharpton, in the wake of the death of Eric Garner during an arrest last month, was causing officers to question whether they have the backing of the administration.
On Tuesday, several police union leaders called for police to do the minimum required for their job, a slowdown meant to call attention to a growing anti-NYPD sentiment in the city.
“What we’re saying to the police officers is, look, the City Council is not looking out for you, there’s not a voice from City Hall looking out for you. We’re saying do your job right and professionally,” Lynch told an interviewer.
“We want you to do your job,” Sergeant’s Benevolent Association President Edward Mullins said in a message to officers, “we want you to follow the rule book the way it’s written. And if there’s a delay in getting to the next place, so be it.”