NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association is defending an NYPD officer who was caught on video telling a driver in the Bronx that Mayor Bill de Blasio wants cops to give out summonses.
The New York Daily News reported the unnamed officer was suspended and faces charges of conduct unbecoming for an officer.
PBA President Pat Lynch called the officer’s suspension a “colossal politically motivated overreaction by the department.”
“Truth is the ultimate defense and no formal discipline is warranted,” Lynch said. “Vision Zero limits officers’ discretion to issue warnings and puts further pressure on them to issue summonses, subjecting New Yorkers to expensive summonses that many cannot afford to pay.”
Under Vision Zero, the city expanded enforcement against moving violations like speeding and failing to yield to pedestrians and increased penalties for dangerous drivers in an effort to lower traffic accidents that seriously injure or kill people.
In a video uploaded to YouTube on April 9, a driver films an NYPD cop giving him a summons in the Bronx.
“Mayor de Blasio wants us to give out summonses,” the officer said in the video. “I don’t know if you voted for him or not – I don’t live in the city – I wouldn’t have voted for him because this is what he wants. He wants us to give out summonses. Understand that.”
Lynch said the Vision Zero program is a “major reason” what 89 percent of NYPD officers say that quotas still exist in the department.
It is not known how long the officer will be suspended for.