SERGEANTS BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION
POLICE DEPARTMENT, CITY OF NEW YORK
EDWARD D. MULLINS
PAUL A. CAPOTOSTO
For Immediate Release Thursday, October 1, 2015
CONTACT: Robert Mladinich, Communications Director – (212) 343-5674
President of the NYC Sergeants Benevolent Association criticizes City Council for allowing an activist to attend meeting while wearing a sweat shirt hailing convicted cop killer and prison escapee Joanne Chesimard.
New York, NY, Oct. 1, 2015 – Ed Mullins, the President of the New York City Sergeants Benevolent Association, whose 13,000 members make it the fifth largest police union in the country, criticized the City Council for allowing a female activist to participate in a September 30 press conference calling for school safety while wearing a sweat shirt praising notorious cop killer Joanne Chesimard, aka Assata Shakur.
Chesimard, a domestic terrorist whose revolutionary name is Assata Shakur, was convicted of the cold-blooded murder of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster during a traffic stop in May 1973. She was sentenced to life in prison, but escaped from custody and received political asylum in Cuba where she has resided for decades.
The woman’s shirt said “Assata Taught Me.” When a reporter asked her about the significance of the shirt, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito disallowed the question until after the press conference was over. Speaker Mark-Viverito, who is 46 years old, later stated she was not familiar with the shirt’s reference, but no explanation was offered by her or her representatives as to why she blocked the question.
“This is astounding,” said President Mullins. “Allowing a person into a City Council event wearing such an offensive shirt is no different than someone wearing garb emblazoned with a swastika or the Confederate flag.
“Chesimard, aka Shakur, is a cold-blooded killer who the FBI labeled a domestic terrorist,” continued Mullins. “While Speaker Mark-Viverito’s claim that she did not understand the shirt’s message is dubious, she or some her colleagues in the City Council should have. Purported leaders, even those who consider themselves progressive, need to lead with some degree of historical perspective.
“In yet another horrific example of the lack of leadership acumen among our elected officials, this was a direct affront to the law enforcement community, which is under siege from many quarters, including the very people who are elected to maintain peace and civility.”