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NYPD PBA undermines its own members amid Garner turmoil

Patrolmen's Benevolent Association (PBA) President Patrick Lynch speaks

Patrolmen's Benevolent Association (PBA) President Patrick Lynch speaks at the annual PBA Awards luncheon at The Water Club in Manhattan on Nov. 21, 2013. Credit: Bryan Smith

The NYPD Patrolmen's Benevolent Association has taken callousness and over-the-top invective to a perilous new place in the past few days.

The PBA on Friday posted a form on its website for officers to sign telling Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito to stay away from their funerals should they be killed in the line of duty.

On Saturday, PBA president Patrick Lynch drove the point home, saying that if the politicians "can't support us now, when we're alive, they shouldn't come to a funeral and have crocodile tears."

Lynch is tossing gasoline on the fire and undermining the job his members are trying to do. What a travesty.

Policing is a tough, dangerous job -- and it got infinitely tougher when a Staten Island grand jury declined to indict a white officer in the death of Eric Garner, who was black and unarmed. Protesters have filled city streets nightly -- yelling anti-police slogans and sometimes taunting cops.

On Saturday, two NYPD lieutenants were assaulted, with one suffering a broken nose, as marchers crossed the Brooklyn Bridge. De Blasio rightly condemned the attacks. And NYPD Commissioner William Bratton and legions of officers have worked tirelessly and patiently to ratchet down tensions.

De Blasio has spoken frankly about tensions between minorities and police after the grand jury decision in the Garner case. De Blasio accurately noted that parents with children of color -- especially if they're young men -- often train them to be super careful when they meet a police officer. As the father of a biracial son, he knows what he's talking about.

Mark-Viverito has vocally backed the mayor and sided with marchers who are protesting Garner's death.

Lynch says he's speaking for the NYPD rank and file.

Maybe. But the NYPD's patrol force of roughly 22,000 has been around 53 percent minority -- black, Hispanic and Asian -- in recent years and around 47 percent white. Do they all agree with Lynch's in-your-face escalation of political tensions? That's hard to believe.

The PBA's whole stunt is lurid, gratuitous and divisive.