At private meeting, union head tells officers to use ‘extreme discretion’

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Pat Lynch leads a press conference after the death of Eric Garner. (NY1 News)
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Police union leader Pat Lynch is telling officers to use “extreme discretion," in response to what he said was a lack of support from City Hall and Washington in the wake of last month's grand jury decision not to indict an officer in the death of Eric Garner.

“If we won’t get support when we do our jobs, if we’re going to get hurt for doing what’s right then we’re going to do it the way they want it," he said last Friday. "Let me be perfectly clear. We will use extreme discretion in every encounter.”

He also said, “Our friends, we’re courteous to them. Our enemies, extreme discretion. The rules are made by them to hurt you. Well now we’ll use those rules to protect us.”

The remarks by Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, were made during a delegate meeting last Friday at a catering hall in Queens. A recording of the remarks was obtained by Capital.

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At the same event, Lynch said Mayor Bill de Blasio acts more like the leader of "a fucking revolution" than a city.

A spokesman for the P.B.A., Al O’Leary, said Lynch was not encouraging a work slowdown.

“He said to do the job right,” said O’Leary, who was in attendance for the meeting. “The message I got was do the job right, do the job according to the rules, which is good advice anytime.”

Capital obtained the seven-minute recording of Lynch’s remarks late Wednesday evening. Many of the remarks echo what Lynch has said publicly, about the mayor throwing officers "under the bus" in the wake of Garner's July 17 death.

Police union leaders have publicly disagreed with Mayor Bill de Blasio since the mayor called for an end to "the stop-and-frisk era" during his campaign last year, and the union has escalated its rhetoric amid protests following the Garner decision.

This morning, de Blasio is scheduled to atttend a CompStat meeting at NYPD headquarters and on Friday he'll meet with members of Justice League NYC, a police reform advocacy group helping to organize daily demonstrations around the city. The group is led by former Al Sharpton aide Tamika Mallory, and wants as part of their demands, an "end" to Broken Windows policing and the "immediate" passage of two bills to limit police in the City Council.

In the audio recording, Lynch urges officers to police the streets in a way that protects them from critics.

“There’s a book they make for us where if you carried it with you, you won’t need to go to the gym," Lynch said. "Every time there’s a problem, they tell us what we can’t do. They tell us what we shouldn’t do. But they never tell us what we can do. We’re going to take that book, their rules and we’re going to protect ourselves because they won’t. We will do it the way they want us to do it. We will do it with their stupid rules, even the ones that don’t work.”

Lynch also complained about members of "the United States Congress standing on the steps of the Capitol raising their hand as if police officers aren’t protecting their rights to do stupid shit like that," referring to a Dec. 11 demonstration in Washington.

Lynch also encouraged officers to sign an affidavit saying that in the event they’re killed in the line of duty, they do not want the mayor at their funeral or wake, a letter that has been criticized by the mayor, NYPD Commissioner and even Timothy Cardinal Dolan.

“If they’re not going to support us when we need ‘em, we’ll embarrass them when we can,” he said.

On the recording, Lynch also says of de Blasio, “He is not running the city of New York. He thinks he’s running a fucking revolution.”

The delegates applauded and cheered.