The Detectives’ Endowment Association, Inc. — Michael J. Palladino, President

A Message to All Detectives from the DEA President

August 20, 2019

A Message To All DEA Members from President Michael J. Palladino,

 

On August 19, 2019, Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill fired Police Officer Daniel Panteleo, in effect, blaming him for Eric Garner’s death during a lawful arrest. The politically motivated decision touches each and every one of us, because we all know that on any given day we could be in the very same position that Officer Panteleo and his fellow cops found themselves in; dealing with an uncooperative suspect who is resisting arrest.

 

Recent criminal justice reforms by City and State legislators clearly indicate what they want: a less engaged NYPD. And the Panteleo decision solidified that in the minds of most cops. If it’s not true, then the NYPD needs to communicate this immediately to the rank and file.

 

Once the decision was made yesterday, I felt a myriad of emotions ranging from demoralized to absolute anger, leaving me totally troubled about where we go from here as law enforcement professionals and no doubt you felt the same way.

 

The common denominator with most controversial police incidents is resisting arrest, which is a subject anti-police politicians steer clear from, because they would have to admit what I have always said: “Show me a resisting arrest and I will show you an ugly video, plain and simple.” Absent political support and clear direction from the NYPD, we find ourselves in “self-preservation mode,” because you have too much to lose and little to gain.

 

Therefore, until further notice, or until clear direction from the NYPD, if the suspect you are engaging with willingly submits, then affect the arrest. But if you are given the least bit of resistance, either verbal or physical, get your covering supervisors to the scene and let them make the call. If a covering Detective Bureau supervisor is unavailable or delayed, call for a uniformed patrol supervisor and be guided by his or her instructions. If the responding supervisor can’t or won’t make a decision, that supervisor can call the next rank above them to respond.

 

If the subject refuses to remain on the scene while you await the supervisor, use your discretion as to whether to detain the individual or not by assessing the safety of the situation around you and the crime for which the individual is wanted. As absurd as this sounds, we must proceed this way at this time.

 

Please remember to be aware of what’s going on around you. In light of the recent water dousing and debris throwing incidents, the threat against you may be coming from someone other than the person with whom you are engaging.