Video tweeted by three of the city’s police unions Thursday afternoon shows a vandal spray painting “Help Us” on the side of an NYPD patrol car one day earlier.
The marked patrol car was near River Avenue and East 153rd Street in the Bronx when the vandal struck around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, police said. The incident has been labeled criminal mischief, and cops are investigating.
“The tag says ‘help us,’” reads a post made to the Police Benevolent Association’s Twitter account Thursday. “Our elected leaders have sent a clear message: the cops are on their own. And now the criminals and anti-police agitators are laughing as our city slides downhill, fast.”
The video, which appears to suggest the public is mocking the cops, was retweeted by the Sergeant’s Benevolent Association a short time later.
“Where is the community outrage?” says a post on that account, which is run by SBA President Ed Mullins. “Where is this partnership with the community that everyone is selling to the rank and file members of the NYPD?”
The Detectives’ Endowment Association also got in on the action.
“Waiting for the @NYCMayor and all elected officials to denounce this crime,” the DEA wrote on its Twitter page. “The people you serve deserve to hear from you. Think of how they feel living in a city where brazen criminals know there will be no consequences due to ill-advised, failing criminal justice policies.
The video, which went up on all three union Twitter accounts within about an hour, comes in the wake of weeks of back and forth between the city’s pols and police officials over state criminal justice reforms that have prevented judges from setting bail for some crimes.
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea has directly connected the changes to an uptick in crime in the city, but other officials have refuted his claim pointing out that the number of people getting rearrested is too low to drive the increase. The video also follows rancorous anti-police and MTA protests that hit the city on Jan. 31.