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The New York Times takes on the NYPD

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Posted at 3:11 PM, Dec 31, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-31 15:11:31-05

NEW YORK — If New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio won’t push back against the intensifying criticisms from many of his city’s police officers, the New York Times will.

The newspaper’s editorial board has come out swinging over the past two days against members of the New York Police Department for their displays of dissent toward the embattled mayor.

“Mr. de Blasio isn’t going to say it, but somebody has to: With these acts of passive-aggressive contempt and self-pity, many New York police officers, led by their union, are squandering the department’s credibility, defacing its reputation, shredding its hard-earned respect,” the editorial board wrote Tuesday.

The editorial also singled out Patrick Lynch, the president of the New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, who has emerged as de Blasio’s most vociferous critic.

New York and its police force have been embroiled in tension for months, stemming from the July death of unarmed black man Eric Garner and the subsequent decision by a grand jury to not indict the NYPD officer involved.

Lynch blamed the deaths of the two officers on both the demonstrators who protested the grand jury’s decision and de Blasio, saying that the “blood on the hands starts on the steps of City Hall in the office of the mayor.”

In the editorial on Tuesday, the Times called out the union chief for pushing “the snarling sense of victimhood that seems to be motivating the anti-de Blasio campaign — the belief that the department is never wrong, that it never needs redirection or reform, only reverence.”

Lynch did not respond to CNNMoney’s request for comment.

NY Mayor Bil de Blasio speaks about the Grand Jury decison for Eric Garner.

NY Mayor Bil de Blasio speaks about the Grand Jury decison for Eric Garner.

The Times editorial board kept at it on Wednesday, following a report that enforcement of minor offenses had nosedived in recent days.

According to the report, which was published Tuesday by the New York Post, traffic citations, summonses for offenses such as public drinking and urination and parking violations have all dropped by more than 90% in the wake of the police shooting.

The latest editorial said it appeared the city’s police “have taken their bitterness to a new and dangerous level — by walking off the job.”

But the editorial writers provided caveats, noting that the data only covers one week and that the reason for the drop in enforcement isn’t totally clear.

The editorial closed with a review of the mayor’s actions that have rankled many in the NYPD, which included the advice offered to his biracial son Dante to “take special care” when dealing with police and a meeting he hosted with the Rev. Al Sharpton.

“The list of grievances adds up to very little, unless you look at it through the magnifying lens of resentment fomented by union bosses and right-wing commentators,” the Wednesday editorial read.

Noting that de Blasio won election in a landslide after pledging to reform “policing excesses that were found unconstitutional by a federal court,” namely the practice known as “stop-and-frisk,” the Times editorial board closed with a multi-part message to the NYPD.

“1. Don’t violate the Constitution. 2. Don’t kill unarmed people,” the editorial read before imparting a third point.

“3. Do your jobs,” the editorial board wrote. “The police are sworn public servants, and refusing to work violates their oath to serve and protect.”

Times editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal did not respond to CNNMoney’s request for comment.