The NYPD has suspended a cop over bystanders' viral videos showing him taunting residents of a Brooklyn neighborhood by saying "Trump 2020" over the loudspeaker of his squad vehicle.
The videos, posted Saturday night, show the cop announcing support for the president’s reelection, as the marked SUV’s emergency lights flash, in the borough’s Flatbush neighborhood.
"Trump 2020. Put it on YouTube. Put it on Facebook. Trump 2020," the cop says in one video, and a man calls him a fascist and curses in the second. "Take a picture, take a picture, take a video. Put it on your Facebook. Put it on your YouTube. Have some fun. Tough guy. Tough guy."
By Sunday morning, the Twitter accounts of both the NYPD and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio had addressed the incident.
"Suspended without pay; The police officer who is under investigation for using a department vehicle’s loud speaker for political purposes has been suspended, effective immediately," one tweet said from @NYPDNews, the department's official account, with an earlier tweet saying the matter was being probed by the department's Brooklyn South Investigations Unit: "Police officers must remain apolitical."
Also, @NYCMayor tweeted: "Let me be clear: ANY NYPD Officer pushing ANY political agenda while on duty will face consequences. We will act fast here, and this will not be tolerated."
The cop was not publicly identified, nor were other details released such as where he was assigned, how long he's been on the force, or his disciplinary history.
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea's account tweeted: "The police officer from this incident has been identified and suspended without pay. To repeat, law enforcement MUST remain apolitical, reassuring the public that we will enforce the law fairly and without prejudice regardless of anyone’s political beliefs."
Last week, the department’s top uniformed cop, Chief of Department Terence Monahan, had said that the endorsement of Trump by the NYPD’s largest labor union, the Police Benevolent Association, shouldn’t influence how cops treat supporters or opponents of the president.
"When we put on this uniform, we are apolitical," he said. "We have no stance in one way or another."
Brooklyn's borough president Eric Adams — a former cop and now a mayoral hopeful — suggested the officer should be disciplined.
"There’s no place for politics while wearing the uniform of law enforcement. Anyone found engaging in ANY campaigning behavior — no matter who or what they are supporting — should be brought up on departmental charges. I expect @NYPDNews to follow through," his account tweeted.
Trump came in third in the 2016 in the Flatbush neighborhood, which is just south of Prospect Park, with 1.6% of the vote, behind Jill Stein, who got 2.2%, according to The New York Times. Hillary Clinton got 95%.
In August, the union endorsed Trump, with the union president, Pat Lynch, saying: "I cannot remember when we’ve ever endorsed for the office of president of the United States until now. That’s how important this is."