Reports have surfaced of flyers being passed among New York Police Department (NYPD) members encouraging them to begin a strike on July 4, reports The Daily Wire.
There is a text message being shared by officers that says: “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 people and this city doesn’t honor us, why honor them.”
Another message is reportedly being shared with the hashtag “#Bluflu,” which urges members of the force to call in sick on Saturday, July 4. “Police officers like you and me took an oath to protect strangers regardless of race, class or gender,” it says. “Today we are vilified and must stand as one.”
Officers reportedly informed The New York Post that the flyers being passed around are “retribution for police reform and a perceived anti-cop climate following the outrage over high-profile police killings of unarmed black men across the country.”
The message also informs officers on how to proceed with a sickout. The steps involve telling the precinct you’re ill and calling the NYPD’s main sick desk if the claim is denied. If that doesn’t work, the flyer says, “If you are held because of the #Bluflu, request a bus and go sick from command.”
The “Bluflu” movement for the NYPD comes after comments made by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on an NPR radio interview on Monday.
“What the community is now saying, all across this nation, ‘We don’t want this type of police force.’ And if they don’t want it, they shouldn’t have it," Cuomo said.
The situation has been described by Police Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch as “no joke” adding that many officers have “reached a breaking point.”
“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,” Lynch said. “Now we are facing the possibility of being arrested any time we go out to do our job.”
Public employee strikes are prohibited by the Taylor Law, which has been active in New York State since 1967. The law states: “The legislature of the state of New York declares that it is the public policy of the state and the purpose of this act to promote harmonious and cooperative relationships between government and its employees and to protect the public by assuring, at all times, the orderly and uninterrupted operations and functions of government. These policies are best effectuated by … continuing the prohibition against strikes by public employees and providing remedies for violations of such prohibition.”
Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Public Information (DCPI) spokesperson, Sergeant Mary Frances O’Donnell assured the public that officers would be there to serve on Independence Day.
“New York City Police Officers will be here today, tomorrow, and on the 4th of July to protect all New Yorkers,” she said. “To suggest otherwise is false.”