The NYPD has suspended an officer seen on a YouTube video telling a driver that Mayor Bill de Blasio is to blame for the summons that was being issued, a police spokesman said Tuesday.
In the 10-second video, the officer is seen leaning on the vehicle’s open window, telling the driver, who appears to have the summons in hand, that “Mayor de Blasio wants us to give out summonses — OK?”
The officer went on to say that he doesn’t know if the driver voted for the mayor or not and that, “I don’t live in the city. I wouldn’t have voted for him.”
The incident occurred in the 46th Precinct in the Bronx, the police spokesman said, and the officer was suspended Monday. An NYPD spokesman identified the officer as Joseph Spina of the 46th Precinct.
A police official said that the officer is from Rockland County.
The department’s move in suspending the officer was called “a colossal politically motivated overreaction” by Patrick J. Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, citing the Vision Zero initiative launched in early 2014, aimed at reducing traffic-related deaths. One element is increasing enforcement of speeding violations.
The initiative “limits officers’ discretion to issue warnings and puts further pressure on them to issue summonses,” Lynn said. “Truth is the ultimate defense and no formal discipline is warranted.”
With Anthony M. DeStefano