Good morning, members of the House Judiciary Committee:
My name is Michael J. Palladino, and since June of 2004, I have been the president of the Detectives’ Endowment Association, Inc. of the Police Department of the City ofNew York. The Detectives’ Endowment Association represents 5,800 active Detectives and 14,000 retired Detectives of the NYPD. I am also the president of the National Police Defense Foundation and the former president of the New York State Association of PBAs. I am also a former Vice President of the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) headquartered in Washington, DC.
If you have not noticed, the City of New York is slowly coming apart at the seams and it is not because of the lack of effort by the brave men and women of the NYPD. Unfortunately, things are unraveling as a result of the political agenda and actions of our elected officials in New York City and our State capitol, Albany. New York City is riddled with homelessness, racial tensions, prosecutors who are more concerned with releasing criminals than prosecuting them, police who have be.en neutralized by political demonization, and criminals who have become so emboldened that they are arrogant enough to douse Police Officers with water, urine, and other liquids and debris while the Officers are trying to perform their lawful duties protecting the public.
Progressive politicians will never admit it, because they’ve created this atmosphere, and to add insult to injury, instead of condemning such behavior, they condone it with their silence.
The so-called “police reformists” have created an atmosphere in New York City where the police are afraid to engage with the public, which begs the question, “Does anyone care about the crime victims anymore?”
For instance, prosecutor Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark recently vacated charges against a convicted murderer with absolutely no new evidence presented. Briefs submitted by the Bronx District Attorney cite scholarly studies about why someone might confess to a crime he or she never committed. However, the District Attorney offered the Court no new evidence in the particular case, and only offered up the generic report, yet the accused confessed to committing the murder numerous times to Detectives, the Assistant District Attorney, and twice to the Parole Board.
During my busy workday in Manhattan, I generally use the New York City subway system to move around town. Based on my own experience and observations, a typical subway ride in our City now has become an obstacle course of physical challenges, including the need to step over a few incapacitated, homeless individuals to get down the subway steps to the platform. Once you get near the turnstiles, you can witness a number of people either jumping over the bars or walking through the emergency exit to avoid paying the fare. This has been happening routinely, because prosecutors have decided to no longer prosecute “fare beaters.” Consequently, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has stated they have lost more than $200 million in revenues.
As a commuter, I am greeted by beggars and other unsavory characters on both sides of the turnstile, hounding me for loose change as I make my way to the train. Once aboard the subway car, I can often expect to encounter an emotionally disturbed person who feels obligated to curse at the passengers or threaten the commuters in the enclosed space.
Progressive New York City politicians will never admit that our public transportation has deteriorated this far, because they’ve created this untenable situation in the first place.
The recent firing of NYPD Police Officer Daniel Panteleo has made an indelible mark in the mind of every member of the NYPD, because we all know that on any given day any one of us could be in Officer Pantaleo’s position. Officer Pantaleo and his co-workers were faced with a subject who was breaking the law and who refused to cooperate with the police. The subject resisted arrest and the result is now history. Pantaleo received the blame for Eric Garner’s death, although the subject had a host of seriousm medical conditions ,(including obesity, asthma, hypertension, an enlarged heart, and diabetes), which his family originally proclaimed were the reasons that he loitered all day in front of the shops which had asked the police to intervene. Gamer had been arrested multiple times before, and had he not resisted arrest on July 17, 2014, he might be alive today. No doubt, Mr. Gamer felt emboldened by the anti-police rhetoric from various politicians.
And what would a controversial police incident be without the Reverend Al Sharpton? Al Sharpton has been a longtime opportunist disguised as a “civil rights leader.” I have first-hand experience with Al Sharpton dating back to my defense of our three Detectives in Queens who stood trial when accused of the “murder” of Sean Bell. Sharpton and his publicity machine disseminated a load of false information to the media in an attempt to tum the public against the Officers who were involved in this incident. This was an attempt to interfere with their due process, which is ironically exactly what Sharpton regularly accuses the police of doing. In Sharpton’s America, the Detectives were guilty and had to be proven innocent, which they were during a full-blown examination of the actual case facts at trial.
Sharpton is an expert at manufacturing myths and then perpetuating them with the intent to have the myths eventually replace the truth. But his ultimate goal is to line his pockets with taxpayers’ money.
Despite the anti-police actions and rhetoric spewing from many people today, the brave men and women of our nation’s law enforcement community journey to work on a daily basis in order to protect and serve the American public. During my 40 years in the NYPD, I can attest that no Officer comes to work intending to hurt or harm another human being. NYPD cops are doing everything we can to keep the lid on the largest and most complex metropolis in the nation.
However, we cannot function with the lack of support from politicians and their constant anti-police rhetoric. It’s unfair to the Polic Officers who risk their lives daily. And it’s unfair to the public, because as the criminals become more confident and emboldened, the streets become more deadly and dangerous.
Thank you for your consideration of my testimony.