Metro Weekly

New York police union calls gay Bronx Council Member Ritchie Torres a ‘first-class whore’

Sergeants Benevolent Association attacks Democratic nominee for Congress for calling for investigation into alleged slowdown

Ritchie Torres – Photo: Facebook.

The union representing New York City’s police sergeants has been heavily criticized after calling gay Bronx Council Member Ritchie Torres a “first-class whore.”

It came after Torres, the Democratic nominee for New York’s 15th Congressional District seat this fall, called for an investigation into an alleged slowdown by police in response to gun crime.

Torres, along with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, questioned why, despite a surge in shootings this summer, there appeared to be fewer closures of gun cases.

“The summertime surge in shootings has all but doubled in NYC,” Torres tweeted. “Fewer gun arrests, fewer gun cases solved, slower response times to gun violence: are these signs of an @NYPDnews slowdown? @BKBoroHall & I are calling for an independent investigation to answer that very question.”

The Sergeants Benevolent Association, which represents 13,000 active and retired NYPD sergeants, balked at Torres’s comments, tweeting: “Here we go America this is what a first class whore looks like RITCHIE TORRES. 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 Rithcie? Meet LYING RITCHIE @Ritchie Torres.”

But Torres responded in kind, tweeting: “The @SBA is a bona fide hate group masquerading as a union. The racism, misogyny, and homophobia of Ed Mullins gives @realDonaldTrump a run for his money.”

In a statement, he said: “My message to the homophobes of @SBANYPD: I’m here. I’m queer. I’m not going anywhere. And whether you like it or not, I’m heading to the United States Congress.

Critics of the SBA called the union homophobic, noting that it had previously tweeted attacks against City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who is gay, accusing him of being responsible for an uptick in shootings because he allowed the City Council to vote on a bill that cut $1 billion from the NYPD’s $6 billion operating budget. 

“COREY JOHNSON wanna be Mayor, one of many clowns comprising NYC elected officials,” the union tweeted. “He is Responsible for many murders, shootings & violent crimes in NYC. Wonder if the District Attorneys will prosecute him or just ignore his behavior.”

Torres followed up on his comments in an interview with local radio station 1010 WINS, alleging that it has “a clear pattern of directing hate speech toward public figures of color.”

“To read the tweets of the SBA you would think Donald Trump himself was running the SBA’s Twitter account,” Torres said. “Referring to me as ‘Little Ritchie’ just like Donald Trump refers to ‘Little Marco,’ it’s juvenile behavior.”

See also: New York police union endorses anti-LGBTQ Democrat Ruben Diaz, Sr., in Bronx congressional primary

He added: “As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing benevolent about the Sergeants Benevolent Association, which has become a hate group in disguise. A decent society like ours should have zero tolerance for hate. And unfortunately, [SBA President] Ed Mullins traffics in hate.”

The SBA’s tweets were not well received by local elected officials.

“Having courtesy, professionalism, and respect includes not calling the likely first LGBTQ Afro-Latino member of Congress a ‘first class whore,'” New York State Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan) said in a statement. “@RitchieTorres deserves an apology and New Yorkers deserve better from you.”

New York Council Member Brad Lander also accused the SBA of treating public figures of color more harshly.

“Sadly, yes. This is now the way a police union talks about an elected official (in this case, worthy-of-note, an LGBTQ/BIPOC elected official). And sadly, yes, it is all-too-reflective of how it’s members feel entitled to treat his constituents,” Lander tweeted.

“Worth comparing how the NYPD today treated white Trump supporters who recklessly sought to kill/injure peaceful protestors vs. how @SBANYPD treated a gay elected official of color. Not doing a lot to build confidence in the idea of ‘equal justice under law.’ Or even to pretend.”

The LGBTQ Victory Fund, a group that backs LGBTQ political candidates and has endorsed Torres, also blasted the SBA, tweeting: “A first class WHAT?! Do your job. Get off Twitter. And for all our sakes, keep @RitchieTorres name out of your mouth.”

Read more:

Congressional Democrats introduce bill to revise FDA blood donation rules for LGBTQ people

Florida police offering $10,000 reward for assistance in finding trans women’s killer

Texas assistant attorney general fired after calling LGBTQ people an “abomination”

Support Metro Weekly’s Journalism

These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

Leave a Comment:

Support Metro Weekly's

LGBTQ Journalism

For as Little as $1.15 a Week

Like What You're Reading?

Get Metro Weekly's Daily Email