Messages circulating around the New York City Police Department are encouraging officers to call in sick on July 4 in an effort to protest to the anti-police sentiments surging through the city, according to The New York Post.
Police have had their resources and training tested as demonstrations protesting the death of George Floyd have hit cities across the nation. Along with peaceful protests that have sometimes devolved into riots and destruction, there have been widespread calls to defund the police. Floyd's death caused many to blame the institution of police departments, saying they are seedbeds for systemic racism.
Those calls have reached the ears of the police, who planned their strike to start at 3 p.m. on July 4. The New York Post quoted a source familiar with the plans, saying that a text message making it's way through the ranks read, "NYPD cops will strike on July 4th to let the city have their independence without cops."
"Cops that say we can't strike because of the Taylor Law," the message read, referring to a law that would make intentional public worker stoppages punishable with possible jail time. "The people and this city doesn't [sic] honor us why honor them [sic]."
The post clarified that they were unable to ascertain if the messages were written by police, or only passed by them. However, multiple officers confirmed that they had seen such messages. The note also gives instructions for offices to call in sick and request a sick day. If they're prevented, the note suggests they should call the NYPD sick desk and report their request for a sick day. If all else fails, the message recommends that officers denied sick leave should request an ambulance to take them to the hospital.
"If you are held because of the #Bluflu, request a bus and go sick from command," the flyer read.
"Police officers like you and me took an oath to protect strangers regardless of race, class or gender. Today we are vilified and must stand as one."Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said that the "blue flu" is a longrunning joke among law enforcement officers, but the dangers that officers face in such a controversial time, is "no joke," going on to say that New York police officers "have reached a breaking point."
Lynch went on to remind The Post that officers have been attacked in the streets, vilified on television, and even put down by the very politicians that they have protected in their streets. Those same officers are going to work, facing possible arrest for doing their jobs, which brings an extra layer of stress and potential lag in response time.
When the NYPD was asked for a comment on the potential walkout, they responded that they would be at work, on July 4, just like every other day.
"New York City Police Officers will be here today, tomorrow, and on the 4th of July to protect all New Yorkers," Sergeant Mary Frances O'Donnell, DCPI Spokesperson, said.
"To suggest otherwise is false."If New York officers do walk off the job, they will be mirroring the activity of their fellow officers in Atlanta, Georgia. Many Atlanta police officers left their posts earlier in the week, as The Inquisitr previously reported.
Several publications reported that a notable number of police officers called in sick shortly before the shift change on Wednesday evening. Their calls came shortly after it was announced that charges of felony murder were being brought against the Atlanta police officer who fatally shot a man in a fast-food parking lot.
The police department issued a tweet denying the rumors that there was a walk-off, while the mayor emphasized that the streets "won't be any less safe" due to the absences.