An NYPD judge Wednesday said it doesn’t matter that an arrest report for the mayor’s daughter had already been posted on Twitter when sergeants union firebrand Edward Mullins retweeted it.
The judge’s determination appeared to throw cold water on Mullins’ defense that he didn’t violate any NYPD rules because the report, filed when Chiara de Blasio was busted May 31, 2020, during a George Floyd protest, had already been tweeted by the Daily Mail.
“It’s not a defense that someone else not subject to the Patrol Guide already did so,” Assistant Deputy Commissioner of Trials Paul Gamble said.
Gamble made his comment during the last day of the two-day departmental trial in which Mullins is accused of violating police rules by posting the report, which listed Chiara de Blasio’s date of birth and driver’s license number. It also listed Gracie Mansion as her address.
Sam Yee, an NYPD prosecutor, said such information could have been used to steal the First Daughter’s identity or put her in physical danger.
Mullins, however, testified that he at first didn’t realize such information was on the report when he posted a copy of it to the Twitter account for the Sergeants Benevolent Association. He headed the union for 20 years until he resigned earlier this month after the FBI seized its financial records as part of probe focused on possible misappropriation of union funds.
Mullins said his motives were clear: to let everyone know that the arrest, for unlawful assembly, might explain why the NYPD, under assault from looters and rioters, didn’t use cops from the Mounted Unit or otherwise act more forcefully to end the mayhem.
“I wanted the public to know that we have come up with a reason why the mayor was holding the cops back,” Mullins testified. “It’s not about the mayor’s daughter. If I had a secret memo that the mayor sent to the police commissioner and said, ‘Don’t let the cops go out there’ shouldn’t the public know that?
“Shouldn’t the public know that they’re being put in harm’s way based on a directive of the mayor and that the cops are being assaulted in the streets?”
Mullins and his lawyer, Hugo Ortega, contend that punishment would chill free speech by union leaders. Both cited a mayoral executive order they say gives union leaders unencumbered free speech.
Yee, arguing that Mullins should be docked 30 vacation days, said the sergeant is still a cop and thus bound by the same rules as any other cop, regardless of rank or union status.
“Just because you are speaking on matters of public concern doesn’t mean you can do it any way you want,” Yee said in his closing statement.
Gamble is expected to rule quickly on Mullins’ guilt or innocence because Mullins has filed for retirement, effective early next month.
On Monday, in a separate trial, the Civilian Complaint Review Board told a different trials commissioner that Mullins should be fired for two offensive tweets — last year calling then-City Councilman Ritchie Torres (D-Bronx) a “first-class whore” for suggesting police were on a work slowdown and labeling then-Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot a “b—h” for saying she didn’t give “two rats’ a—ss” about getting cops personal protective equipment during the pandemic.
It is not year clear if the feds will charge Mullins.