TheIndependent reports the head of a New York state police union has hit out at both lawmakers and the media for treating the police like “animals and thugs”, and for vilifying the profession.
Mike O’Meara, president of the New York Police Benevolent Association, standing in front of a large group of police officers at a press conference, said that 375 million interactions between the public and the police each year are “overwhelmingly positive”.
Yet he said that he had read all week that in the black community mothers are worried about their children getting home from school without being killed by a cop.
A frustrated Mr O’Meara said: “What world are we living in? That doesn’t happen. It does not happen!”
“I am not Derek Chauvin. They are not him.” he said referring to the Minneapolis police officer who killed George Floyd. “He killed someone. We didn’t. We are restrained.”
Speaking on behalf of the assembled officers, he said: “Everybody’s trying to shame us. The legislators. The press. Everybody’s trying to shame us into being embarrassed of our profession.”
Holding up his police badge he said: “You know what? This isn’t stained by someone in Minneapolis. It’s still got a shine on it, and so do theirs.”
Mr O’Meara added, angrily: “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.”
Bail has been set at $1.25m for Mr Chauvin, who has been charged with second degree murder and manslaughter over the death of Mr Floyd. Three other officers have also been charged.
Mr Floyd’s funeral took place in Houston, Texas, on Tuesday afternoon.
“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,” said Mr O’Meara.