The head of New York State's Police Benevolent Association is demanding more respect.
During a PBA press conference Tuesday, Michael O'Meara boldly accused the media and legislators of "vilifying" officers and propagated anti-police sentiments. The comments come amid increasing calls for police reform and nationwide demonstrations spurred by the death of George Floyd.
"We all read in the paper all week that in the black community, mothers are worried about their children getting home from school without being killed by a cop," O'Meara said. "What world are we living in? That doesn’t happen. It does not happen! Everybody’s trying to shame us. Legislators. The press. Everybody’s trying to shame us into being embarrassed of our profession."
O'Meara addressed the May 25 police killing of Floyd, who died after former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin was filmed kneeling on Floyd's neck for more than 8 minutes, despite his repeated pleas for help.
"You know what? This isn't stained by someone in Minneapolis," O'Meara said as he held up his badge and gesturing to the group of officers behind him. "It’s still got a shine on it, and so do theirs."
He continued: "We don’t condone Minneapolis. We roundly reject what he did as disgusting. It’s disgusting!. It’s not what we do. It’s not what police officers do. … He killed someone. We didn’t. We are restrained."
O'Meara's criticism of law enforcement was primarily focused on Chauvin and the Minneapolis Police Department. He did not mention any other instances of police brutality during the nationwide protests, including the recent assault charges against Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski. The two Buffalo officers were arrested last week after they were filmed shoving 75-year-old protester Martin Gugino during a curfew crackdown. The graphic video shows Gugino fall backwards and hit his head on the concrete. A pool of blood was seen around Gugino's head moments later, as officers walked past him and began detaining another demonstrator. Gugino was transported to the hospital and treated for head injuries.
"Stop treating us like animals and thugs, and start treating us with some respect!" O'Meara said. "That’s what we’re here today to say. We’ve been left out of the conversation. We’ve been vilified. It’s disgusting."
People did not take kindly to O'Meara's comments.
Hey Mike O'Meara-— Don Winslow (@donwinslow) June 9, 2020
Where are the black officers?
Did you not invite them or did they not want to come?
I've seen that raging face before. It's always present when you guys are beating the shit out of someone for doing nothing wrong.
Same exact face captured on so many videos. https://t.co/3nlFjFM7sJ
NYPD Mike O’Meara out here talking like he’s been oppressed for 400 years. pic.twitter.com/BFCWy6sSER— Brother Nyght (@wondermann5) June 9, 2020
The NYPD was quite literally caught on video repeatedly treating protestors like boxing dummies/target practice. If you want respect, you've got a long way to go. Every single officer who participated or stood by and did nothing is a coward. Kindly go fuck yourself, Mike O'Meara. https://t.co/KuJuhAc8Jp— Michael N (@Asham2Mouth) June 9, 2020
NYC Police Benevolent Assn Prez Mike O'Meara raged today, asking media to “Stop treating us like animals and thugs and start treating us with some respect.”— Madam Auntie Kamala Harris for VP! (@flywithkamala) June 9, 2020
Sir, that’s all Black and Brown people are asking for from YOUR officers. 🙄 #BlackLivesMatterpic.twitter.com/14GqIgW8Ie
Mike O'Meara talking about NYPD, saying "people trying to make us feel ashamed of our profession"— Michael F. Meitbual (@mikeymeitbual) June 9, 2020
You ghoulish son of a bitch - feeling SHAME AT ALL would be a fantastic fucking start.
Any cop that accompanies half-assed condemnations of murderous police with pathetic defensiveness about their collective characters -- ESPECIALLY after 2 wks of watching police openly DELIGHT in wielding violence -- might as well just remain silent.— LadyPolitik (@Ladypolitik) June 9, 2020
Absolutely FUCK Mike O'Meara. https://t.co/3sHFIdp8Wb
Dear Mike O'Meara,— NerdWicked (@slapmytweetbox) June 9, 2020
Stop allowing your officers to brutalize people in the streets, clean up your act and that of the entire force, and don't ever again DEMAND we show you respect. Respect is EARNED, and you're not earning it, your pissing all over it.
Demanding respect? pic.twitter.com/bjO1kAtxew
Hey Mike O'Meara, why are all the police in this video wearing masks when the #NYPDMaskWatch NYPD refuse? Oh right. Because it's for show.— MrSpocksEars (@MrSpocksEars) June 9, 2020
What's disgusting? Police behavior. You work for the people, not the other way around.
We're going to legislate the fuck out of you.
Mike O'Meara you have weapons and authority to use them. Kids are taught in grade school to respect and admire the police. You have health care and pensions and unions, and almost never get convicted for malfeasance. But listen to the whining! You are the ULTIMATE SNOWFLAKE! https://t.co/CQT4TlJELm— Jason (@RockRriver) June 9, 2020
I’m sorry i don’t speak Oink Oink pic.twitter.com/NqomEEKTjy— Benjamin Dixon (@BenjaminPDixon) June 9, 2020
I want Mike O'Meara to watch the HUNDREDS if not THOUSANDS of videos on Twitter of police brutalizing protesters over just the last 2 weeks and comment on every single one... He looks like someone who doesn't have the temperament for police work. This is EXACTLY the problem.— Inglorious Bat Turds 🕙 (@BatTurds) June 9, 2020