New York Police Have Been Corrupted by Their Unions

photo of officers McCabe & Torgalski
Robert McCabe & Aaron Torgalski


New York’s Troubled History

New York State has had a problem with aggressive and corrupt cops for a very long time. Remember, the move Serpico was based on the New York Police Department. While leadership may have improved since that time, and I stress ‘may’, there has been another influence that has come into play in the state. Police unions. The police unions have fought every step of the way to ensure that officers are not held accountable for their actions, no matter how severe their transgression. The unions act more like mob bosses than professional organizations.

For example, in February, two NYPD police officers were shot. The Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA) tweeted out the following:

“Mayor DeBlasio, the members of the NYPD are declaring war on you! 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!” 

What they are saying is that words pointing out police abuse caused the shootings, not the actual abuses by police officers. And what vile creatures are they talking about? The ones who are willing to kill officers? Do they really think those people are voters? This is an attack against everyone who makes a negative comment about the NYPD.

Two Officers Charged in Assault on Martin Gugino

With the current protest, we’ve seen multiple videos of abuse by New York police officers but due to his age and frailty, the assault on Martin Gugino, by Buffalo police officers, stands out. Two officers, Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski, are seen shoving 75-year old Martin Gugino for no reason. Mr. Gugino is unable to maintain his balance as he stumbles backwards and falls, hitting his head on the sidewalk hard enough for blood to start leaking out of his ear. McCabe and Torgalski were suspended for the assault. In response to the suspension, 57 other officers on the response team, almost the whole team, also resigned from that special unit. This really emphasizes the fact that police officers in the state of New York are angry that they are expected to be accountable for their actions.

Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski were charged with 2nd Degree Assault for their attack on Mr. Gugino. Police and firefighters waited outside of the courthouse and cheered when the defendants left the building. This shows the sheer level of depravity in both the police department and the fire department. The job of the police is to serve and protect. How can they feel that McCabe and Torgalski met that criteria? What threat was this frail old man to those two officers in full riot gear? Why did they feel the need to shove him backwards when he wasn’t being aggressive?

Unions Keep Abuses Hidden

A huge part of the problem is that abuses by police officers have been hidden from the public eye. New York has a law, Civil Rights Law section 50-a, that requires agencies to keep police personnel files confidential. An officer can have a personnel file filled with misconduct but the public will never know that he is a bad cop. There have been multiple pushes to change the law but the unions have been strong enough to fight them off. In the current climate, there is another push and in response, the Police Benevolent Association of New York City has dedicated $1.4 million in its efforts to keep the law and hide the abuses.

Dangerous & Hateful People

Think about that. They don’t want people to know how bad an officer is. Nothing matters except protecting the officer. These are not individuals who care about the people they serve. I doubt they even believe they serve the public. Rather, the attitude is that they rule them. The hatred is so deep against any attempts to hold officers accountable that people like Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, stooped to a new low by doxxing Mayor de Blasio’s daughter, earning a suspension of the union’s Twitter account until the post was deleted.

Chaira de Blasio, the mayor’s daughter, went to the protests and was arrested for unlawfully assembling. Ed Mullins released her full arrest report on Twitter. That report included, “personal details such as her address, driver’s license information and government ID details.” The account also accused her of throwing objects at the officers, though I doubt it’s true.  After all, not only is she the mayor’s daughter but she is also black. Officers in New York City hate the mayor and are used to lying about black people. If Chaira actually had thrown something, there is not an officer there that would have hesitated in filing assault charges against her. Since that didn’t happen, and because she is a smart young woman, I have to believe she never threw a thing.


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