The New York City Police Benevolent Association on Monday asked a court to stop a city mandate requiring all NYPD officers be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Friday.
In a 37-page petition filed in Staten Island State Supreme Court and asking for both a temporary restraining order and injunction, the PBA, which represents 24,000 officers, said the mandate compelling cops to be vaccinated by Friday or go on leave without pay, was an unconstitutional condition of employment and "shocking to the conscience."
In its filing, the PBA noted that since the city earlier had a vaccinate or test policy, "NYPD officers are not a major source of transmission of COVID-19. The Health Department has identified no data that would suggest that NYPD police officers have become a material source of transmission" or that the earlier vaccinate or test policy failed.
City data in recent months showed that cops had among the lowest vaccination rates for city employees, starting out at one point at about 48%. The rate climbed in recent weeks to about 73% after the vaccinate or test policy went into effect.
The PBA said in court papers that the city’s latest mandate for cops, as well as city firefighters, hit employees with an "extraordinary deprivation" of pay and benefits without rational justification.
In a statement late Monday, the city Law Department said: "The city’s vaccine mandates are lawful and keep New Yorkers safe. We will review the case."
All efforts to end the mandates "have failed in court, and we believe this suit by the PBA will meet the same fate," the statement said.
In a note to its membership Monday, the PBA said the city had failed to issue any NYPD-specific policy guidance on how the mandate will be implemented and called the current policy environment "chaotic."