New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city’s public employees would be mandated to have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of October or be placed on unpaid leave, the New York Police Department’s union threw a fit.
“10,000 cops set to be pulled from streets,” they lamented in an exaggerated press release over the mandate last week. The union then claimed that the officers’ removal would be dangerous, despite no evidence that more police lead to moreSafety; for many people, police interactions are a source of further danger. even death.
As the deadline passed this week, however, nowhere near the union’s projected 10,000 unvaccinated police were pulled from the streets. Instead, 34 officers were placed on unpaid leaves.
There were 35,000 uniformed officers in the force, which means that less than 0.14 per cent of the uniformed force was on leave. The numbers for civilian staff were also insignificant, with only 40 of the 17,000 officers on leave this week, according the police commissioner.
The fact that such an insignificant number of officers were placed on paid leave due to the mandate despite the union’s dire threats is shocking for two reasons. First, it shows that the mandate was largely successful in convincing officers to get vaccinated. Second, it shows that cops lie or exaggerate to avoid any consequences or comply with the rules.
Last week, the union reported that 10,000 police officers were not vaccinated. This is about 29 percent of force. This week, the commissioner announced that about 85 percent of staff are vaccinated, with others claiming or awaiting exemptions — meaning that the number of unvaccinated staff is now down to about 15 percent.
Although there have been widespread opposition from cops to getting vaccinated, the commissioner’s statistic means that since the vaccine mandate went into place, the city’s police are no longer vaccinated at a lower rate than the rest of the population; now, their vaccination rate is about on par with the rest of the city’s adults.
Taking both the union’s and the commissioner’s statistics at face value, that would mean that about 14 percent of NYPD’s officers — or 4,900 officers — were vaccinated over just the course of a few days, before the mandate’s deadline kicked in on Monday.
As both prison abolitionists and police have repeatedly pointed out, police lie. it’s also an indispensable element of police culture to do so. Police are legally allowed to and trained to lieOf course, it is. push a narrativeTo reinforce their racist preconceptions and to avoid having to face consequences for enacting violence and brutality, they favor.
In this case, the union’s exaggerated fearmongering bolstered the widespread — and disproven — conservative narrative that the COVID vaccine and associated mandates are a form of government control, or one step on the way to authoritarianism. Vaccine mandates are meant to protect everyone in the U.S. and those most at risk from the virus. Police and the right wing are the ones who are the victims. Authoritarian servants.
Vaccine mandates are not creating an unprecedented era in authoritarianism. They have, however, been successful in getting more people vaccinated. Overall, there are only about 9,000 New York City employeesOn Monday, approximately 378,000 workers were placed on administrative leaves. 12,000 people were granted religious or medical exemptions. This means that 91% of workers had received at least one dose COVID vaccine before Monday.
De Blasio said that he’s optimistic that those who chose not to get vaccinated may still be compelled by the mandate. “Now, remember at any hour, any of those 9,000 can say, wait a minute, I’m willing to get vaccinated and come back, and we saw over the weekend, a lot of that happening, thousands of people changing their mind coming back,” he said.
Even the most vaccine-sceptical people are still able to take part in these activities. been getting their shotsDue to various corporate and government mandates.