Flyers are circulating around the city especially among NYPD officers are encouraged to take the day off on July 4th as punishment for the “police reform” following the outrage over high profile police killings of unarmed black men across the country.
A message calls for the strike to start at 3 p.m. on July 4th. “NYPD cops will strike on July 4th to let the city have their independence without cops,” the message, which is being passed amongst the cops through text according to the New York Post.
“Cops that say we can’t strike because of the Taylor Law,” reads one of the messages, which called for the strike to start that day.
For those that don’t know the references to Taylor Law, it is a New York State act that makes work stoppages punishable with jail time and fines.
Another message that was seen by officers was a code word #Bluflu and instructs cops to call out sick on Independence Day. “Police officers like you and me took an oath to protect strangers regardless of race, class, or gender,” the message reads. “Today we are vilified and must stand as one.”
According to the NY Post, as instructed if they do call in sick it tells them to first call their precinct and log a sick day. If this is denied the request they have to go to the main NYPD sick desk. If that is also turned down, cops still have to show up for work and ask for an ambulance to be escorted homesick.
It’s still not clear if the messages of encouragement have been written by other NYPD cops but Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch told the NY Post that the cops have “reached the breaking point.”
The NYPD is facing scrutiny after footage of protests over Floyd’s death has shown incidents, multiple of them violently responding to demonstrators by beating them with batons, pepper spraying, using tear gas, and shooting with rubber bullets.
The NYPD is expected to show up for work on July 4th according to the department.
“New York City Police Officers will be here today, tomorrow, and on the 4th of July to protect all New Yorkers,” said Sgt. Mary Frances O’Donnell, spokesperson for the department’s deputy commissioner for public information.