Gay Congressional candidate Ritchie Torres has branded the head of a police union as “racist, misogynistic and homophobic” after the group called him a “first class w***e”.
Torres, who is expected to win a seat in the United States House after he won his Democratic primary, made the comment after the Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA) president Ed Mullins made derogatory remarks about him on Twitter.
In a since-deleted tweet, which was posted on Friday (September 4), Mullins wrote: “He [sic] we go America this is what a first class w***e looks like RITCHIE TORRES.”
He added: “Passes laws to defund police, supports criminals, and now because he’s running for office he blames the police to protect what he voted for. Remember Little Ritchie? Meet LYING RITCHIE.”
Mullins made his comments after Torres called for the New York City Police Department to be investigated over an alleged “slowdown” in policing.
Torres had said that shootings in the city had “all but doubled” over the summer and said there had been “fewer gun arrests, fewer gun cases solved, [and] slower response times to gun violence”.
Mullins faced swift backlash over his comments, and Torres slammed both the organisation and its president over the remarks.
Gay congressional candidate Ritchie Torres: ‘I’m here. I’m queer. I’m not going anywhere.’
“The SBA is a bona fide hate group masquerading as a union,” Torres tweeted. “The racism, misogyny, and homophobia of Ed Mullins gives Donald Trump a run for his money.”
In a follow-up tweet, Torres added: “My message to the homophobes of SBA NYPD: 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.”
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. https://t.co/LSs7sKgfxS
— Ritchie Torres (@RitchieTorres) September 4, 2020
CNN journalist Keith Boykin also hit out at the SBA and Mullins, writing: “Of all the words you could have chosen, to call an openly gay Black and Latino future congressman a ‘w***e’ shows just how racist, homophobic and out of touch your so-called police union has become. You bring nothing but shame and dishonour on the New York Police Department.”
Since then, Torres has called on Mullins to resign from his post – but rather than apologising for his comments, Mullins instead chose to double down in a statement released on Tuesday (September 8).
“Let me state that I will never resign,” Mullins wrote. “My position allows me to hold dishonest politicians like him accountable. My comments about Councilman Torres had nothing to do with his race, ethnicity or sexual orientation. My comments had everything to do with his dangerous policies and worldview.”
In a later tweet, Torres branded Mullins “a racist relic of the past” and said that the future has “no place” for his “bigotry”.
Ed Mullins, the President of @SBANYPD, is calling on me to resign for calling out his bigotry. Mr. Mullins: You’re a racist relic of the past. As an openly LGBTQ Afro-Latino, I represent a future that has no place for your bigotry. Do the right thing for a change: resign. https://t.co/7IFDmd7KMl
— Ritchie Torres (@RitchieTorres) September 9, 2020
“Do the right thing for a change: resign,” Torres added.