Head of police union says reporters ‘aren’t qualified’ to judge police actions

In the wake of another incident for which police have been roundly criticized in the press, the president of the New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association sent an open letter.

Over the past year or so, the relationship between police, reporters and the public has changed.

Scrutiny over police actions such as the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the choking death of Eric Garner in New York have increased the scrutiny of police officers and how they do their jobs. Another incident, in which a white New York Police Department officer reportedly tackled and handcuffed retired tennis pro James Blake in a case of mistaken identity, made headlines last week. Blake, like Brown and Garner, is black.

In response to news coverage of that incident, the president of the largest police union in New York, the New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, sent this open letter to reporters, whom he called “arm-chair judges”:

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