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'No Resolve' After 2-Hour Meeting Between Mayor and Police Unions

By  Murray Weiss and Katie Honan | December 30, 2014 5:52pm 

 The closed-door meeting did not offer a resolution between police unions and mayor, a leader said. 
The closed-door meeting did not offer a resolution between police unions and mayor, a leader said. 
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DNAinfo/Katie Honan

COLLEGE POINT — A two-hour meeting Tuesday between Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton and leaders of the five police unions, which have been sparring with City Hall about the administration's treatment of police officers, ended without a resolution, according to Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch.

Source said the mayor was "professional" at the summit at the new police headquarters in College Point, during which union leaders voiced their frustrations about the department's relationship with City Hall and de Blasio took aim at the media again for poisoning the well.

"There was no resolve and our thought here today is that actions speak louder than words, and time will tell," Lynch told reporters after the meeting.

The presidents of the Captains Endowment Association, Lieutenants Benevolent Association, Sergeants Benevolent Association and Detectives’ Endowment Association joined Lynch after the meeting, but did not comment further.

De Blasio left directly after the meeting but his office put out a statement that said the meeting focused on "building a productive dialogue and identifying ways to move forward together."

"The Mayor and Police Commissioner remain committed to keeping crime in New York City at historically low levels, supporting the brave men and women in uniform who protect us every day, and finding ways to bring police and the community closer together,” spokesman Phil Walzak said.

Lynch, who said that de Blasio had "blood on his hands" after two officers were murdered in Brooklyn on Dec. 20, said that safety for his members was paramount on the agenda.

"There were a number of discussions especially about the safety issues that our members face," he said.

According to sources, the heads of several unions, including Lynch, slammed de Blasio for the bad state of relations between City Hall and the NYPD.

"In my 30-plus years in the NYPD, the atmosphere and anger built in the cops is something I have never seen before," Lynch said, according to a source.

Union leaders zeroed in on the protests that erupted in the wake of the death of Eric Garner, who died of an apparent police chokehold, saying that the marchers were allowed to take over the streets without consequences.

"If we are going to have lawlessnesss, we are going to have other problems," Palladino said, according to sources.

De Blasio once again took to blaming the media for "stirring up animosity and friction between the police and city hall," according to a source.

But Palladino said that the mayor should be more careful in choosing his words.

"I suggest that you take a breath and measure every word carefully because they can be misinterpreted," Palladino told the group, according to a source. "People take your words as gospel.

Union leaders also voiced their concerns with the mayor telling his son, Dante, who is mixed race, that he had to be wary of police officers as well as criticizing the grand jury's decision not to indict Officer Daniel Panteleo in the Garner case.

According to the sources, de Blasio acknowledged that Pantaleo did not intend to hurt Garner.

Lynch also criticized the mayor for calling elected officials to have them slam the union leader, even as he was reaching out to extend an olive branch.

"They mayor was caught...No response," a source said. "He looked like a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar."

The mayor and union leaders shook hands before leaving.

The leaders of the law enforcement unions have complained about the mayor's meeting with the organizers of large anti-police rallies across the city as well as his relationship with the Rev. Al Sharpton.

The rift grew wider after Dets. Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were assassinated in Bed-Stuy on Dec. 20 by a man who claimed to be avenging the death of Garner — prompting the unions to accuse de Blasio of furthering anti-police sentiment that puts their members at risk.

"Mayor de Blasio, the blood of these two officers is clearly on your hands," Sgt. Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, said after the shooting.

"It is your failed policies and actions that enabled this tragedy to occur."

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton has pointed out that the unions are currently engaged in contract negotiations with the city.

Police officers have turned their backs to the mayor in public on three separate occasions since the officers' deaths. At Monday's graduation for new NYPD cadets, some family and friends at Madison Square Garden booed and heckled de Blasio, and turned their backs to him.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the mayor, via his private Twitter account and the city's official account, has asked for donations to help the families of the fallen officers.

The mayor's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the meeting.