NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — NYPD Chief of Patrol Fausto Pichardo has resigned.
Pichardo had been the second-highest ranking uniformed officer in the NYPD and the highest ranking Latino officer.
His abrupt resignation comes after reports the mayor was meddling in police affairs, specifically how to enforce coronavirus restrictions.
Sources tell CBS2 this stems from the mayor trying to micromanage Pichardo.
Exclusive video shows Pichardo dodging reporters’ questions after turning in his papers and telling Mayor Bill de Blasio he’s done.
Sources say even the police commissioner tried to dissuade him, CBS2’s Lisa Rozner reports.
It’s a stark contrast to December, when the mayor named the 20-year police veteran the first Dominican American to take the job.
“I’m speechless,” Pichardo said at the time.
“This is a moment to celebrate and it’s a moment to recognize as real progress and change at the NYPD,” de Blasio said.
Ironically, earlier Tuesday, the NYPD revealed deeper changes to restore community trust in the men and women in blue.
But sources say it appears the mayor didn’t trust the chain of command in the NYPD.
Pichardo’s final straw allegedly happened when he returned home from long hours at the Borough Park protests over new COVID-related restrictions last week. Sources say he missed calls and messages from the mayor, which lead to a “blow out” over the phone.
The mayor wanted Pichardo to handle a block party in the Bronx that Pichardo felt a precinct commander could.
“We have a pecking order in connection with who does what, and when the mayor subsequently picks and chooses or elects who he sees fit to deal with a particular instance, it fractures the chain of command within the NYPD,” former NYPD lieutenant Darrin Porcher told CBS2.
Tuesday night on CNN, the mayor didn’t address the resignation.
When asked how enforcement was going to control a surge in coronavirus cases, he said, “We’ve had some very powerful enforcement efforts. They are being duly noted in all the communities affected.”
The mayor’s press secretary put out a statement late Tuesday that calls Pichardo a “deeply respected leader” and says “City Hall is continuing to have conversations with him regarding his future.”
That sends a different message than the NYPD, who announced Pichardo’s retirement and called him “one of the most highly respected leaders in policing.”
This comes at a time when officers have been told to prepare for more protests ahead of the presidential election and Supreme Court confirmation hearings.
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