February 12, 2015

Bronx Defenders Has No 'Bad Apples'

Jonathan Oberman

February 13, 2015 New York Law JournalWhen Patrick Lynch chastised Mayor de Blasio that "there was blood on the mayor's hands" following the tragic killing of officers Rafael Ramon and Wenjian Liu, many reasonable people recognized the comment for what it was, an effort to verbally smear the mayor to secure Lynch's political base, and deflect attention from the serious questions being raised post-Ferguson, Mo. and Staten Island. The mayor's purported sin was that he had spoken to his son about how to behave when confronted by armed police officers. Lynch ignored context and called the mayor's conduct an unacceptable attack on all police officers. As the target of an inflammatory attack, one would not have expected the mayor to engage in similarly inflammatory rhetoric.

Yet that is what he did at a Jan. 30 press converence when responding to a question about the two lawyers from the Bronx Defenders who appeared in a "Hands Up" video that included a graphic image of two men pointing handguns at the head of someone dressed as a police officer. The mayor warned that the Bronx Defenders had to act quickly to discipline the two "bad apples" and reform its procedures or face sanctions that could include the loss of city funding. While recognizing the good work that most Bronx Defenders do, de Blasio cautioned, "But these are some very bad apples who did something absolutely horrid" ("Mayor Demands Discipline for Bronx Defenders 'Bad Apples'," NYLJ, Feb. 2).

Read more in the New York Law Journal