Tags: George Floyd Protests | Law Enforcement | new york city | blue flu | protest | defund the police | independence day

NYC Cops Urged to Get 'Blue Flu' on Independence Day

a state of new york map is covered with a flag and symbols of blue lives matter
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Thursday, 18 June 2020 04:19 PM

Fliers being circulated via text messages are encouraging New York City cops to call out sick on Independence Day as a response to anti-police rhetoric and policy changes following the riots and protests over the death of a black man in police custody in Minneapolis, the New York Post reported, citing anonymous sources.

"NYPD cops will strike on July 4th to let the city have their independence without cops," one of the messages reads, the Post said.

Police and other public workers in the state of New York are prohibited from engaging in work stoppages under the 1967 Taylor Law, passed a year after a costly transit strike in New York City.

"Cops that say we can't strike because of the Taylor Law," the message reads. "The people and this city doesn't honor us why honor them."

The New York Police Department did not respond to the Post's request for comment.

The reaction comes after several political figures have suggested, accepted or endorsed disbanding or defunding police departments in cities across the United States as a response to riots and protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis police custody on Memorial Day.

A widely circulated video shows a white police officer restraining Floyd face down with his knee on Floyd's neck. Critics have claimed the video is evidence of systemic racism in law enforcement.

A super majority of Minneapolis' 13-member city council expressed support for disbanding its police force, although the mayor opposed the idea and the city charter prohibits it without his approval.

The New York City Council is proposing to cut $1 billion from its police department's budget to "show our commitment towards moving away from the failed policing policies of the past," it said in a statement.

One video from riots in New York showed a police officer being hit on the head with a fire extinguisher as he tried to arrest a suspect.

It was not clear where the text message fliers encouraging the NYPD sickout originated, but one set a start time of 3 p.m. ET on July 4, a Saturday.

"Police officers like you and me took an oath to protect strangers regardless of race, class or gender," another of the messages, tagged with #Bluflu reads. "Today we are vilified and must stand as one."

It gives instructions on how to report as ill July 4.

"Over the past few weeks, we have been attacked in the streets, demonized in the media and denigrated by practically every politician in this city," New York Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said. "Now we are facing the possibility of being arrested any time we go out to do our job."

Lynch said the "blue flu" has been a joke within the department for generations, but "the situation we are in right now is no joke."

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Fliers being circulated via text messages are encouraging New York City cops to call out sick on Independence Day as a response to anti-police rhetoric and defunding policies run amok.
new york city, blue flu, protest, defund the police, independence day, july 4
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2020-19-18
Thursday, 18 June 2020 04:19 PM
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