An NYPD officer was suspended without pay after he was filmed shouting his support for President Donald Trump over the loudspeaker of his squad car while on duty in Flatbush on Saturday night.
Video filmed from a nearby apartment on Saint Paul Place shows the officer repeating the phrase “Trump 2020” over the loudspeaker and taunting bystanders to “take a picture, take a video, put it on Facebook, put it on YouTube, have some fun.”
Another video shows the officer being confronted by a man who asks him to “say it again” from up close. When the officer repeats the phrase, the man calls him a “f—— fascist.”
Police officer in Brooklyn uses a loudspeaker to say "Trump 2020" while on the job pic.twitter.com/ZujQIfqonH
— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) October 25, 2020
Police officers are strictly forbidden from participating in political activities while on duty, according to the department, and a spokesperson said the incident is under investigation.
“The NYPD plans to come to an expedient resolution,” the spokesperson said.
“We are aware of this incident and it is under investigation by our Brooklyn South investigation unit,” the department tweeted. “Police officers must remain apolitical.”
We are aware of this video and it is under investigation by our Brooklyn South Investigation Unit.
Police officers must remain apolitical. https://t.co/a3XyWCNceb
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) October 25, 2020
The incident drew outrage from progressives, who noted it should come as no surprise considering the Police Benevolent Association endorsed President Trump for re-election, and the president enjoys support from many officers.
Others drew parallels to an incident in Red Hook earlier on Saturday, when NYPD officers accused community organizers handing out personal protective equipment at an early voting site of electioneering, and confiscated their equipment.
“Yesterday cops in Red Hook confiscated a table of PPE because it was ‘electioneering’ (it was not) and now, on the same day, a video of a cap, very clearly, electioneering,” tweeted state Sen. Zellnor Myrie. “We need answers. Now.”
The department announced the officer’s suspension on Sunday afternoon.
“The police officer who is under investigation for using a department vehicle’s loudspeaker for political purposes has been suspended, effective immediately,” tweeted the department at 3:36 pm.
In a statement, Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins blasted the suspension as unnecessary.
“The NYPD has a history of officers making political or outside the norm social statements either on video or other social media and ignoring it completely. The act of suspending this officer is unnecessary, way over the top and could of been addressed with an instruction of department policy,” Mullins said. “I guess we are left to wonder if the officer supported Joe Biden would he have been suspended.”