Yesterday New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio officially asked the city's police to stop arresting people for smoking marijuana. And while the move gained praise from most people, it appears the actual police officers were not fans.
The president of the New York Police Department's sergeants union spoke out against de Blasio's new policy yesterday. Sgt. Ed Mullins of the Sergeants Benevolent Association said the new policy would put police officers in "positions of conflict," because the drug is illegal.
“You can’t just circumvent the law,” Mullins said. “If you want to not have enforcement of arrests, then you need to change the law.”
Of course, marijuana is already decriminalized in New York City, so the law already says that what these people are doing isn't a crime.
Mullins' union represents around 12,000 NYPD officers, and is the fifth largest police union in the United States.
It should be noted that Mullins does not speak for the NYPD itself. The police department officially is working on recommending a new policy to follow de Blasio's request that should be ready within the next 30 days. And the city's police commissioner says he has not interest in arresting people for smoking marijuana.
“The NYPD has no interest in arresting New Yorkers for marijuana offenses when those arrests have no impact on public safety,” Commissioner James O’Neill said last week.
But Mullins' comments do signal that actual police officers on the streets may still harbor the same old attitudes about marijuana that have lead to mass incarcerations in the first place.
(h/t Washington Times)