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Gay councilman calls on NYPD union leader to resign after 'homophobic' tweet

Ritchie Torres, a congressional candidate, is urging a police union leader to step down after he called Torres a “first class whore” on Twitter.
Image: Ritchie Torres during a news conference in New York
New York City Councilman Ritchie Torres, shown in 2018, is running for Congress from a district in the Bronx.Brendan McDermid / Reuters file

A gay New York City councilman and U.S. congressional candidate is calling on an NYPD union leader to step down after a tweet sent from the union’s official Twitter account called the councilman "a first class whore."

The now-deleted tweet is credited to Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, a union representing approximately 13,000 active and retired police sergeants, and was directed at Ritchie Torres, a Bronx Democrat running for Congress in November.

"He we go America this is what a first class whore looks like RITCHIE TORRES," said the tweet, typos untouched, which was originally posted on Sept. 4. "Passes laws to defund police, supports criminals, & now because he's running for office he blames the police to protect what he voted for. Remember Little Ritchie? Meet LYING RITCHIE.”

Image: Deleted Torres Tweet
In a since-deleted post, the official Twitter account of the NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Association refers to openly gay congressional candidate Ritchie Torres as a "first class whore."@SBANYPD

Torres called Mullins’ remarks “homophobic,” according to the New York Daily News, as did fellow New York City Councilman Mark Levine.

That social media message is just part of an ongoing war of words between Torres — who has called the sergeants union "a bona fide hate group masquerading as a union" — and the union, which has accused Torres of supporting anti-police violence.

The deleted tweet included a video of Torres criticizing the NYPD for making fewer gun arrests and solving fewer gun-related cases as the number of summertime shootings doubled in 2020 compared to last year. In the video, Torres calls for an investigation into whether the NYPD initiated a “work slowdown” and, if so, to what extent the slowdown has “driven the growth of violence in New York City.”

Shortly after the police union posted its now-deleted tweet, Torres responded by calling for Mullins to step down.

"Calling a black NFL player a 'wild animal.' Calling a Latina Health Commissioner a 'bitch.' Calling an openly LGBTQ Afro-Latino a first-class whore.’ There is NOTHING benevolent about the bigotry of the @SBANYPD. Ed Mullins must resign,” Torres wrote.

Torres' message referred to a tweet last September by the sergeants' union calling a Black NFL player a “wild animal” for allegedly punching a police officer, and a tweet from earlier this year calling a female health official a “bitch” after she said she had told a police official, “I don’t give two rats’ asses about your cops” in response to a request for face masks (she since apologized for the remark).

On Tuesday, Mullins issued a response to the call for him to step down, saying that he’d “never resign” and that his comments about Torres “had nothing to do with his race, ethnicity or sexual orientation.”

“My comments had everything to do with his dangerous policies and worldview,” Mullins stated. “The City is burning and Councilman Torres wants to blame the police.”

Mullins concluded his letter by saying Torres, who has served on the New York City Council since 2014, is “either intellectually dishonest or hopelessly naive,” adding, “Either way, he's the one who is responsible for the sorry state of the City and he should be the one to resign.”

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