New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea announced on Sunday that an officer who was filmed using his cruiser’s loudspeaker to repeatedly yell “Trump 2020” in several viral videos has been suspended without pay.
“The police officer from this incident has been identified and suspended without pay,” Shea tweeted. “To repeat, law enforcement MUST remain apolitical, reassuring the public that we will enforce the law fairly and without prejudice regardless of anyone’s political beliefs.”
Several hours before his announcement, Shea stated that the then-unidentified officer’s actions were “one hundred percent unacceptable. Period.”
The officer is under investigation, according to the official NYPD news Twitter account.
On Saturday night, a Twitter user named Brandon Hines posted a video of a police car parked in a street in Brooklyn from which the officer could be heard cheering on President Donald Trump through the loudspeaker and goading bystanders into filming him.
“Trump 2020. Put it on YouTube. Put it on Facebook. Trump 2020,” he says. “Take a picture, take a picture. Take a video. Put it on Facebook. Put it on YouTube. Have some fun.”
Several others officers could be seen standing nearby.
How the NYPD rolling up in Black communities these days (on my block): “Trump 2020. Put it on YouTube. Put it on Facebook…”
Aight MFers… it’s on TWITTER TOO! BI-DEN! ???#Vote #nypdfinest #bidenharris2020 pic.twitter.com/hmXdY8ivbM
— Brandon K Hines (@thumpio) October 25, 2020
Independent reporter Talia Jane posted another video of the incident filmed from a closer angle:
NYPD officers in Flatbush were allegedly saying “Trump 2020” over and over again on their patrol car’s speaker tonight.
They stopped when someone started filming but couldn’t resist one more — in violation of the NYPD’s policy against endorsing candidates on duty. pic.twitter.com/BJMv4UCvnd
— talia ‘stop filming faces’ jane (@itsa_talia) October 25, 2020
The officer’s actions are prohibited by the NYPD’s code of conduct, which bans the endorsement of political candidates “while on duty or in uniform.”
It is unclear whether the other officers present at the scene will also be investigated. The NYPD did not respond to TPM’s inquiry.
Trump has thrown heavy support behind cops, including the NYPD, amid a national reckoning with police brutality sparked by the killing of George Floyd.
The NYPD openly embraced Trump in kind through an unusual endorsement by its union, the Police Benevolent Association (PBA), in August. PBA President Pat Lynch noted, “I cannot remember when we’ve ever endorsed for the office of President of the United States until now. That’s how important this is.”
Less than a week ago, the PBA’s Twitter account mocked concerns of NYPD cops working to boost Trump while on duty as “hysterical nonsense.”