New York City Police Officer Adhyl Polanco on Monday condemned his colleagues after they turned their backs on Mayor Bill de Blasio at the funeral for a slain officer.
Polanco told Democracy Now‘s Amy Goodman that he attended the wake for Officer Rafael Ramos on Saturday, and he pointed out that the family had called for unity and peace.
“How come we cannot honor what they are calling for?” he asked. “Mayor de Blasio came to the police department that had a lot of issues before he got to this police department. Mayor de Blasio came with the attitude that I can fix this police department, but this police department has a culture that is going to make whoever tries to change that culture, like, impossible, including the mayor.”
“It’s absolutely wrong to turn their backs on the mayor, this is not what we’re made of,” Polanco added. “This does not represent the police department, this does not represent how, when a family calls for peace and unity, you’re going to have a 100 officers doing the absolute opposite.”
Polanco pointed out that police union head Patrick Lynch, who has led the opposition to de Blasio, was wrong to say de Blasio had blood on his hand because he had warned his biracial son that police might treat him differently.
“How can a parent who has a black child, how can a parent who has seen millions of kids been stopped by stop and frisk — and you know the statistic of that — how can the parents of black kids see kids get killed by police over and over, how can parents see kids be summoned illegally, being arrested their own building for trespassing, and being the treatment they get from the police department — not from all officers because not all officers are the same — how can you not responsibly have that conversation with your son?” he asked. “I have to have the conversation, and I’m a police officer.”
Polanco, who is not white, said that he had also been abused by officers when he was out of uniform because many officers have “that mentality that Patrick Lynch and many other officers don’t want to hear about.”
“They don’t have to speak to their kids,” he explained. “If my kids and Patrick Lynch’s son walked the streets right now, chances are, the conversation I have to have with my son, he won’t have to have. As an officer, I’ve been thrown against the wall. As an officer, I’ve been shown no respect.”
“Not by this administration because we cannot say this administration is doing it, but by 12 years of dictatorship that we have by [Mayor Michael Bloomberg] and [NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly].”
As for the recent protests in Ferguson and across the country, Polanco asserted that demonstrators were not upset with all police.
“People are protesting against bad policies that have been in this country many, many, many years,” he insisted. “I think these protests were there before [two NYPD officers were assassinated]. I think the issues we have to resolve, we cannot deny that they’ve been there before the officers were dead.”
Watch the video below from Democracy Now, broadcast Dec. 29, 2014.
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