The highest-ranking uniformed officer, who is African American abruptly quit Friday. Some are now blaming the mayor and police commissioner, as the NYPD's highest-ranking Hispanic officer is also officially out the door. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
Philip Banks and Rafael Pineiro, the NYPD's highest ranking black and Latino officers, have resigned and retired. It was long known Pineiro's last official day would be Friday, but Chief of Department Philip Banks suddenly announced his retirement the same day.
That sent shock waves throughout City Hall, Police Headquarters and other agencies.
“I had an opportunity to speak to the mayor of the city of New York and express my concern and my disappointment. As well, I had an opportunity to speak to Chief Banks and urge him to reconsider,” said Public Advocate Letitia James.
Banks, the department's highest ranking uniformed officer, says he resigned for professional reasons.
He was set to be promoted on Monday to First Deputy Commissioner, the NYPD's number two spot—but many police insiders say it is a position with reduced power and visibility.
Police Commissioner William Bratton says that's nonsense.
“Being quiet frank with you, I could care less what others' impressions or anybody talking to you—I’m the police commissioner so I know what that position means to me. It’s the key advisory position," Bratton said.
However, black and Latino law enforcement groups say Banks and Pineiro were pushed out.
“I think this is a plan that’s been orchestrated by the commissioner and I think the mayor’s office has to have direct responsibility," said Anthony Miranda of the National Latino Officers Association.
Sources tell NY1 Pineiro decided not to take part in a ceremonial last day at One Police Plaza Friday because he felt he was forced out.
Pineiro had over 40 years on the job, and Banks had 28 years. Many are questioning what message does this send to black and Latino communities.
The police commissioner says there is diversity in the NYPD.
"I would point out that there is very significant and there will continue to be very significant representation of African Americans and Latinos and everybody else in the NYPD,” Bratton said.
The promotions ceremony is scheduled for Monday. It remains to be seen who will now be the first deputy commissioner.