Russell Simmons has been an avid supporter of the recent protests in support of the families of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, but a certain leader’s comments struck a negative chord with the CEO recently.
In a previous statement made by NYPD union president Patrick Lynch, the 51-year-old official accused Mayor Bill de Blasio of having “blood on his hands” following the shooting death of two officers on Saturday (Dec. 20), in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. This comment has now led Simmons to pen a riveting op-ed to Lynch, which warns him not to “wage war” on black communities.
Sadly, it has become apparent that there are some so-called leaders who are abusing this moment to further grab power within their base. Clearly, one of them is the president of the police union, Pat Lynch. As I have listened to the rhetoric and vicious divisive comments made by this man over the past few weeks, I have done everything to hold back. But, after this weekend, I have no choice to address him directly. Pat, there is no “war” that will be waged upon our communities by your, I mean OUR officers, there is no blood on anyone’s hands except those of the killer, and there is no demonizing hundreds of thousands of people who have peacefully exercised their first amendment right marching in the streets for an end to violence. It is disappointing to witness how disrespectful Pat Lynch has been to Mayor de Blasio for trying to reform a department in much need of transformation, yet he was SILENT when the leader of his police department was far more direct in his criticism.
Mayor de Blasio also called for a halt on city-wide protests in memory of the fallen Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, who were gunned down by 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley. These demonstrations of the last few months saw views from both sides of the spectrum, those who support the officers, which took place Friday (Dec. 19) in NYC, and those who’ve showed steady support for the memory of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.
Read the full transcript here.
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