Tuesday’s Headlines: Terence Monahan Must Go Edition

NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan on Monday.
NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan on Monday.

One of the NYPD’s highest-ranking officials unwittingly did the Defund the NYPD movement a huge favor yesterday — and cuckolded Mayor de Blasio at the same time — with some offensive, pro-brutality, anti-democratic propaganda that would earn him termination … if Mayor de Blasio was actually running the NYPD.

Responding to a question about the weekend’s spate of violence, Chief of Department Terence Monahan blamed pretty much everything — bail reform, COVID-necessitated human prison releases, reductions of detentions at Rikers and even an unconnected court shutdown — before blaming a City Council bill that criminalizes the chokehold, plus other forms of asphyxiation or compression of the diaphragm to cut off a person’s air:

“The animosity towards police out there is tremendous,” he said. “You know, just about everyone we deal with is looking to fight a police officer when we go to make an arrest. … And, again, we’ve mentioned this insane diaphragm law that the City Council passed. It has our cops hesitant to enforce some of these quality-of-life issues. They are afraid, if they’re making an arrest, that if their knee goes on the back of someone, that they are fighting their life or that they could be prosecuted. That’s a problem. It makes our cops take that step back. … It’s a big issue to our cops. It’s something that has to be dealt with. It’s unacceptable the amount of violence that we had this weekend. It is something that we have to deal with, the guns that are on the street, and figure out new ways to get them, get them as they’re walking out on the streets and make those arrests.”

Never mind that the NYPD has a responsibility to carry out laws passed by the Council (if signed by the mayor), and never mind that he’s basically saying cops are afraid to do their jobs unless they know they can do so with virtually any amount of brutality — let’s focus on Mayor de Blasio, who was sitting right there as Monahan exposed the mayor’s Achilles Heel (namely, that he’s under the NYPD’s heel).

The Post had solid coverage of the issue. So did the Daily News, which emphasized that Monahan was just saying the same thing NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea was saying at around the same time on NY1. But de Blasio wasn’t sitting there with Shea as he was with Monahan. Later on Monday on “Inside City Hall,” the mayor defended the chokehold bill — but, again, his underlings bosses Shea nor Monahan weren’t on the air with him. (The Times did a less-compelling version; Todd Maisel of amNY did two virtually identical stories on the rift.)

In other news:

  • The must-read of the day is Clayton Guse’s Daily News story about how badly the Department of Transportation is rolling out transit-signal priority — the technology that gives buses a green light so that transit riders get better service.
  • The Daily News had more about Sunday evening’s deadly crash on Ocean Avenue in Brooklyn.
  • Mayor de Blasio took five seconds to tweet about a racist name of Cleveland’s baseball team — but that was long enough to draw shade from the Post.
  • The Times finally did the “Why the bus didn’t lose as many riders as the subway” story.
  • Is someone trolling Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams over his soft-on-placards stance — or is something else at play here? (NY Post)
  • Wow, all of the rats are abandoning this Titanic. (NY Post)
  • And, finally, it’s not Streetsblog news, strictly speaking, but we’ve always been fans of “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” whose creator, Charlie Daniels, died yesterday (NY Mag). Reminder: The Devil’s fiddle solo is better than Johnny’s.