272 uniformed officers with the New York Police Department have filed for retirement since the city began seeing protests in response to the May 25 murder of Black Minneapolis resident George Floyd by a white police officer. Countless other NYPD officers are planning to call in sick on July 4 to show their displeasure with the city’s police reform efforts following Floyd’s slaying.
The New York Post reports that the 272 retiring officers represent a 49 percent spike compared to the 183 who filed for retirement during the same period last year.
Explaining the mass retirement, Police Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch recently said, “[NYPD officers] at their breaking point, whether they have 20 years on the job or only two. We are all asking the same question: ‘How can we keep doing our job in this environment?’ And that is exactly what the anti-cop crowd wants. If we have no cops because no one wants to be a cop, they will have achieved their ultimate goal.”
Other officers are planning a July 4 labor strike as retaliation for proposed cuts to the NYPD’s nearly $1 billion annual budget.
Two flyers being passed around by officers state, “NYPD cops will strike on July 4th to let the city have their independence without cops… The people and this city doesn’t honor us, why honor them?” The images provide instructions for a sickout, a form of labor protest that encourages workers to simultaneously call in sick to work, depriving a facility of its ability to operate.
Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, called the mass retirements an “exodus” and said morale is “at the lowest levels I’ve seen in 38 years.”
“People have had enough and no longer feel it’s worth risking their personal well-being for a thankless position,” he said. “There is no leadership, no direction, no training for new policies. Department brass is paralyzed (and) too afraid to uphold their sworn oath in fear of losing their jobs. Sadly, the people of this city will soon experience what New York City was like in the 1980s.”