New York City Police Union Boss Mike O’Meara blasted politicians and the media for their depiction of police officers in recent weeks at a press conference Tuesday.
O’Meara used the conference to bring a voice to all law enforcement officers who haven’t received praise for their pursuit of justice and safety, and have instead been assumed guilty by association with racial injustice.
“Stop treating us like animals and thugs and start treating us with some respect. That’s what we’re here today to say. We’ve been left out of the conversation. We’ve been vilified. It’s disgusting. It’s disgusting,” O’Meara said. “Trying to make us embarrassed of our profession… Nobody talks about the police officers that were killed in the last week in the united states of America and there were a number of them.”
Holding up his police badge, O’Meara said it isn’t stained by someone in Minneapolis. “It’s still got its shine on it. And so do theirs,” he said pointing to the NYPD police officers standing behind him.
WATCH 🚨 New York police boss Mike O'Meara went off on the media today:
"Stop treating us like animals and thugs and start treating us with some respect … Our legislators abandoned us. The press is vilifying us. It's disgusting." pic.twitter.com/CXOPARKff7
— August Takala (@AugustTakala) June 9, 2020
O’Meara personally denounced the actions of the police officer who killed George Floyd, while raising up the majority of officers who he said deserve respect.
“We don’t condone Minneapolis. We roundly reject what he did as disgusting. It’s disgusting. it’s not what we do. It’s not what police officers do. Our legislators abandoned us. The press is vilifying us,” he said. “But you know what guys? I’m proud to be a cop, and I’m going to continue to be a cop until the day I retire.”
Following the death of Floyd and the subsequent riots, many have called for vast changes in local police organizations. Many have gone as far as to suggest defunding the police completely and implementing an alternate form of law and order to ensure public safety.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) suggested Monday on The View a “reimagined” public safety system. This would involve reducing the budget for law enforcement and redirecting it to other government programs and resources, including public school, mental health, and job creation and training.
Media coverage has also, in covering both protests and violent riots, largely failed to recognize law enforcement officers injured or killed while responding to outbreaks of riots and looting. In just one of many examples, a retired St. Louis police captain, David Dorn, was shot while protecting a friend’s store from looters. A graphic Facebook live video showed the 77-year-old black retiree laying in a pool of blood.