Speed Reads

NYPD blues

Controversial New York police union head steps down after FBI raid

The board of the New York Police Department's Sergeants Benevolent Association, one of the city's main police unions, said late Tuesday it had requested the resignation of its controversial president, Ed Mullins, who is "apparently the target of the federal investigation." Mullins agreed to step down. Earlier Tuesday, the FBI had raided the SBA's Manhattan headquarters and Mullins' home on Long Island.

After several hours at the union's Manhattan office, FBI agents carried at least 11 large cardboard boxes and a black trash bag to a minivan. The FBI said in a statement that its agents "were conducting a law enforcement operation pursuant to an ongoing investigation," but declined to give any details. The search was part of an investigation by the FBI and public corruption unit of the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan, The New York Times reports, citing people with knowledge of the matter. The U.S. attorney's office declined to comment, as did a lawyer for Mullins.

The SBA board said "the nature and scope of this criminal investigation has yet to be determined," and other than Mullins, "we have no reason to believe that any other member of the SBA is involved or targeted in this matter."

Mullins joined the NYPD in 1982, made sergeant in 1993, and was elected to the first of his five terms as SBA president in 2002. The SBA, representing about 13,000 active and former police sergeants, says it is the fifth-largest police union in the U.S. Along with the largest police union, the Police Benevolent Association, its leadership has tended to be politically conservative. Mullins was particularly outspoken in his support for former President Donald Trump and criticism of New York's Democratic leaders and any efforts to reform police departments to root out racism and racial violence. And his use of Twitter landed him in hot water.

Along with the FBI investigation, Mullins faces a NYPD disciplinary action for tweeting out a police report detailing the arrest of Mayor Bill de Blasio's daughter, Chiara, from a police brutality protest last year.