Ed Mullins, president of the NYPD’s Sergeants Benevolent Association, slammed New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner James O’Neil for lashing out at Attorney General Jeff Sessions for a Friday Justice Department statement relating to the city’s non-compliance with federal immigration law and crime.
Mullins said in a statement issued Friday that “Sessions is absolutely correct to hold New York and other jurisdictions accountable for their so-called ‘sanctuary policies.’”
“For a long time, Mayor De Blasio and the NYPD’s leadership have failed to heed the warning that refusing to cooperate with federal immigration officials when it comes to criminals and suspected terrorists would have consequences beyond making our City less safe. They have placed officers in an impossible Catch-22: between obeying the directives and orders of their superiors and elected officials on one hand, and the obligation they feel to follow the direction of the law and to cooperate with federal immigration officials on the other,” Mullins said.
Mullins went on to say, “Now the City’s intransigence has placed in jeopardy millions in U.S. Department of Justice grant funds that we count on to help protect our communities. Despite what some politicians may think, law enforcement does not get to choose the laws we uphold, and it is our sworn duty to enforce all laws equally and without bias or preference. Attorney General Sessions is absolutely correct to hold New York and other jurisdictions accountable for their so-called ‘sanctuary policies.’ I just hope the Mayor will finally come to his senses and stop ignoring and harboring violent criminals before it’s too late.”
The DOJ statement released Friday warning nine U.S. cities that they were risking losing federal grants for not complying with federal immigration law. New York City, one of the municipalities that received a DOJ letter on the matter, was criticized by the department for having a “soft on crime stance.”
“The number of murders in Chicago has skyrocketed, rising more than 50 percent from the 2015 levels. New York City continues to see gang murder after gang murder, the predictable consequence of the city’s ‘soft on crime’ stance. And just several weeks ago in California’s Bay Area, after a raid captured 11 MS-13 members on charges including murder, extortion and drug trafficking, city officials seemed more concerned with reassuring illegal immigrants that the raid was unrelated to immigration than with warning other MS-13 members that they were next,” the statement said.
Mayor De Blasio and Commissioner O’Neil both hit back at Sessions Friday. “It is unacceptable, it is outrageous and it is absurd,” De Blasio told reporters at a press conference.
— Commissioner O’Neill (@NYPDONeill) April 21, 2017
Ian Prior, principal deputy director of public affairs at the Justice Department, said in response to the Mayor and Commissioner O’Neil, “As made very clear in the department’s release, it is New York City’s policies that are soft on crime.”
Sessions later clarified the statement saying the dispute is with the city’s mayor over sanctuary city policies.
“New York has done some great things in criminal justice; they are following policies that have proven to reduce crime in America,” he said. “We have a disagreement with the mayor over sanctuary city policies.”