The New York City Police Department (NYPD) said a sergeant had “received an initial discipline” after wearing pro-Trump badges while policing a Black Lives Matter (BLM) march on Friday, February 5. A “further investigation” was ongoing, police said.
Protesters began drawing attention to the sergeant’s badges as they faced off with a group of police outside the NYPD’s 84th Precinct in Downtown Brooklyn. The sergeant was standing a few feet ahead of her fellow officers, closer to the protest group, wearing a facemask that was hanging just below her nose. The two patches on her uniform featured stylized skulls with blonde Donald Trump-style hair. One of the badges included the words “Make Law Enforcement Great Again 2020,” a reference to the former president’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again.”
“We are aware of a video showing one of our members wearing a politically oriented patch," said police spokesperson Detective Sophia Mason, who told Storyful the sergeant had “received an initial discipline” but provided no more details.
In footage streamed live by protester and Instagram user @nyxinnyc, who is also active on her @nickybla account, demonstrators facing the sergeant repeatedly tell her to adjust her mask, but she refuses. After spotting the pro-Trump patches, protesters began telling the sergeant that wearing them was prohibited or illegal.
“Illegal?” the sergeant asks one of the protesters. She is heard mentioning the First Amendment to the protester, though the rest of her words are inaudible. At one point, after the 30-minute mark in the livestream, the sergeant quickly pulls down her mask to blow a kiss toward someone. She then jokes about the protesters recording images of her, saying: “I didn’t know I was that photogenic.”
According to the NYPD’s code of conduct, on-duty or uniformed members of the force are prohibited from endorsing political candidates, or “publicly expressing personal views and opinions concerning the merits of any political party or candidate for public office.”conduct":https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/ccrb/downloads/pdf/investigations_pdf/pg203-10-prohibited-public-contact.pdf, on-duty or uniformed members of the force are prohibited from endorsing political candidates, or “publicly expressing personal views and opinions concerning the merits of any political party or candidate for public office.” Credit: @sameasy_shoots via Storyful