NEW YORK (AP) — Federal brokers raided the workplaces Tuesday of a New York City police union, the Sergeants Benevolent Association, and the Long Island house of its bombastic chief, who has clashed with metropolis officers over his incendiary tweets and hard-line techniques.
FBI spokesperson Martin Feely mentioned brokers have been “carrying out a law enforcement action in connection with an ongoing investigation.”
Along with the union’s Manhattan headquarters, brokers additionally searched union president Ed Mullins’ house in Port Washington, Long Island, Feely mentioned.
Messages searching for remark have been left with Mullins and the union, which represents about 13,000 lively and retired NYPD sergeants and controls a $264 million retirement fund.
Calls to Mullins’ cellphone went to a full voicemail field.
Mullins, a police sergeant indifferent to full-time union work, is in the midst of division disciplinary proceedings for tweeting NYPD paperwork final yr relating to the arrest of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s daughter throughout protests over the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd.
Mullins’ division trial started final month however was postponed indefinitely after one in every of his legal professionals suffered a medical emergency.
Mullins’ lawyer denies he violated division tips, arguing arrest papers with Chiara de Blasio’s private figuring out data, resembling her date of beginning and deal with, have been already posted on-line.
Mullins can be suing the division, claiming they have been making an attempt to muzzle him by grilling him and recommending disciplinary motion over his on-line missives, which have included claims that officers have been at battle with metropolis leaders.
Asked in regards to the raid Tuesday, Mayor de Blasio advised reporters he didn’t have sufficient data to remark.
“I think he’s been a divisive voice,” de Blasio mentioned of Mullins. “But that doesn’t cause me to feel anything in this situation because I don’t know what’s happening. All I hear is an FBI raid. I don’t know the specifics, I don’t know who it’s directed at. I want to really hear the details before I comment further.”
The Sergeants Benevolent Association runs a Widows and Children’s Fund, a scholarship fund for members’ youngsters, and Blue Christmas, which distributes toys to needy youngsters.
Mullins, a police officer since 1982, rose to sergeant, a rank above detective however under captain and lieutenant, in 1993 and was elected president of the sergeants union in 2002.
Under Mullins’ management, the union has fought for higher pay — with contracts leading to pay will increase of 40% — and staked a distinguished place within the anti-reform motion.
Though he’s a full-time union chief, metropolis legislation has allowed Mullins to retain his sergeant’s place and acquire salaries from each the union and the police division. Last yr, Mullins made greater than $220,000 between the 2, in line with public information: $88,757 from the union and $133,195 from the NYPD.
The NYPD referred questions on Mullins to the FBI.
Along with Mullins’ periodic appearances on cable networks like Fox News and Newsmax — together with one by which he was pictured in entrance of a QAnon mug — maybe the union’s strongest megaphone is its 45,000-follower Twitter account, which Mullins runs himself, typically to fiery impact.
In 2018, amid a rash of incidents by which cops have been doused with water, Mullins urged it was time for then-Commissioner James O’Neill and Chief of Department Terence Monahan to “consider another profession” and tweeted that “O’KNEEL must go!”
O’Neill retorted that Mullins was “a bit of a keyboard gangster” who seldom confirmed as much as division capabilities.
Last yr, Mullins got here below hearth for tweets calling town’s former Health Commissioner, Dr. Oxiris Barbot, a “b——” and U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres a “first-class whore.”
Mullins was upset over experiences Barbot refused to provide face masks to police within the early days of the pandemic and indignant with Torres’ requires an investigation into a possible police work slowdown in September 2020.
Torres, who’s homosexual, denounced Mullins’ tweet as homophobic.
On Tuesday, Torres referenced that tweet in reacting to the information of the raid, writing: “Ed Mullins, who famously called me a ‘first-class whore’ for daring to ask questions about the @SBANYPD, just got a first-class raid from the FBI.”
In 2019, it wasn’t tweets that acquired Mullins in hassle, however reasonably feedback he made in a radio interview suggesting that slain Barnard College scholar Tessa Majors had gone to the park the place she was killed to purchase marijuana. Police later arrested three teenagers, saying she’d been stabbed throughout an tried theft.
Majors’ household known as Mullins’ remarks on the radio present “deeply inappropriate” sufferer blaming and urged him “not to engage in such irresponsible public speculation.”
Associated Press reporters Karen Matthews and Tom Hays contributed to this report.