An NYPD union leader is claiming that a racist video he told thousands of his fellow cops to “pay close attention to” on Saturday was actually shared in error.
Ed Mullins, president of New York City’s second-largest cop union the Sergeants Benevolent Association, shared a 15-minute video made by right-wing author Colin Flaherty that refers to black people as “welfare queens,” “scam artists,” and “monsters.”
“Pay close attention to every word,” Mullins wrote in the email according to the New York Post. “You will hear what goes through the mind of real policemen every single day on the job. This is the best video I’ve ever seen telling the public the absolute truth.”
Mullins is now saying that he received the video from a retired sergeant who he considered a reputable member of the force. It wasn’t until an unnamed member of the union contacted Mullins shortly after he sent the email, asking him whether he had actually watched what he had just shared.
Mullins claims that he watched the video without audio, and assumed that it was some sort of tactical video that could help fellow members.
In actuality, 15-minute video shows footage of a police shooting that took place in Los Angeles, overlaid with a reading of an officer’s firsthand account of what it's supposedly like policing poorer black communities.
The narration, read by radio personality Willie Shields, repeatedly denigrates black people and calls the projects “warzones.”
“When a suspect chooses to flee from police, it is never for anything good,” the narrator says. “When a suspect flees a car at night in the projects, it can only be for something incredibly bad. One of the most astonishing aspects of police work in an urban environment, is the fact that almost literally no one has a job. The section 8 scam artists and welfare queens have mastered the art of gaming the taxpayer. Bounce from baby mama to baby mama, impregnate as many women as possible. She gets the welfare benefits, and you get the flop house benefits. Symbiotic.”
The video continues to insult African Americans, saying that police activity in the projects will always gather at least “50 to 100 men women and children” equipped with “Obama phones” ready to record, and refers to them as ”100 black George Hollidays,” the man who filmed the LAPD Rodney King beating from his balcony in 1992, “looking for a payout.”
“The song remains insane,” Shields reads. “Imagine an entire housing complex comprised solely of people who have been taught two things: that they are victims of racism and police are the enemy.”
Mullins has since backtracked and apologized to union members. He told the New York Post that “there is no one to blame but me for the video that was distributed.”
In a follow-up interview with Gothamist, he continued to apologize, though he said that upon watching the entire clip, certain aspects of it, including the claim that “killing cops is the new normal,” and that the general public being allowed to film police incidents can impede officers trying to do their jobs, rings true.
He also insisted that he himself, is not a racist.
"I have black friends, white friends, Asian friends — I wouldn't want to insult anyone," he told Gothamist. "I don't think one incident defines who I am."
Cover: Members of the media and other attendees await entry to the trial of Officer Daniel Pantaleo at One Police Plaza on May 13, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)