06/15/2000

NYPD RALLIES FOR BETTER PAY, AGAINST THE BOSS

The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Assn. (PBA), an organization of NYPD patrol-level officers, staged a rally Tuesday to demonstrate their desire for a more favorable employment contract. Crowd estimates ranged from 6,000 to 8,000 cops and their supporters, who converged on Battery Park, at the southern tip of Manhattan, in a show of solidarity.Broadway stage workers—also union employees--joined the cops at the rally to support the quest of the Finest for a pay raise when their contract is renewed. The current contract expires on July 31 of this year.“Salary is a key issue in our profession, especially in light of the last two contracts,” stated Daniel Tirelli, the PBA financial secretary and a 17-year veteran of the department. “On our last contract, we got a zero raise for the first two years, and the previous contract gave us a zero raise for the first 18 months. But the city has flourished in the last five to seven years. There are budget surpluses,” he added.PBA President Paddy Lynch told the assembly that the cops just “want our fair share.”In addition to the contract concerns, the cops were also united by their opposition to Bruce Springsteen’s new song, which repeats the words “41 shots” and makes reference to the shooting of Amadou Diallo by NYPD officers in February 1999. Diallo was unarmed and reaching for his wallet when the undercover cops fired 41 shots at him, which resulted in his death. The PBA had called for officers to boycott The Boss’s 10-day concert series, which opened Monday night at New York City's Madison Square Garden.“From day one, the PBA maintained that the Diallo shooting was a tragedy,” said Tirelli. “His writing a song that repeats the words ’41 shots’ opens the wound again. We feel that the song is a criticism of the NYPD, and we don’t need someone of Springsteen’s stature to take away from the job we do every day. Our goal is to do our job and to protect the citizens of this city,” he added.Tirelli said that the PBA has invited Springsteen to sit down with organization members to discuss the controversial song, but so far The Boss has not responded.

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