NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — A Brooklyn precinct councilman resigned in protest after former Cmdr. John Mastronardi was promoted to deputy chief despite a 2020 controversy that saw him transferred from his previous station.
Precinct councils are volunteer organizations that advise the NYPD on community issues.
Joe Gonzalez resigned on Thursday after serving for more than 15 years on the 79th Precinct Community Council.
“Mastronardi’s promotion sends HORRIBLE message,” he wrote in a text to Chief of Department Jeff Madrey that was published by the New York Post. “He assaulted a citizen on video inflicting injury. I am in deep pain. I feel Maddrey & NYPD failed us. I can no longer support Maddrey & NYPD.”
Mastronardi was caught on camera roughly arresting two men who questioned him and a group of police officers as to why they weren’t wearing masks as they attempted to break up a group of Black men for not social distancing during quarantine in May 2020.
The Mastronardi video and similar incidents at the time led to community backlash surrounding the NYPD’s disproportionate enforcement of pandemic restrictions on communities of color.
A petition from Rev. Kevin McCall led to Mastronardi’s transfer from the 75th Precinct in East New York to the 79th in Bed-Stuy.
Mastronardi has been the subject of at least 16 complaints with the Civilian Complaint Review Board — the watchdog agency tasked with evaluating NYPD misconduct. The agency has not substantiated any of the complaints, though he was only exonerated of three.