Ex-chief Philip Banks’ despicable defense

“The best defense is a good offense”: That adage seems to explain former NYPD Chief of Department Philip Banks’ playing of the race card to deflect questions about his personal finances.

Back in 2015, Banks stunned the city by abruptly resigning just as he was about to be appointed first deputy commissioner.

At the time, Banks claimed he quit because the promotion would take him away from the kind of police work he enjoyed.

But taking the new job would’ve required an extensive background check. And, as The Post reported this week, a sprawling federal investigation found that Banks had made more than $300,000 in “unexplained” cash deposits with no “legitimate source.”

FBI agents said the pattern and amount of the deposits had all the earmarks of money laundering. (Banks’ lawyer says the cash came from an inheritance and poker winnings.)

They also discovered Banks and his wife failed to report to the IRS another $245,000 in rental income from two properties.

All this was tied in to the investigation of improper influence — including the sale of gun permits — wielded by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s fat-cat donors, like Jona Rechnitz.

No charges were ever brought against Banks because prosecutors felt they’d be too hard to prove. (He may be named an unindicted co-conspirator at the coming trial of another de Blasio donor, Jeremy Reichberg.)

Now Banks insists he actually chose to retire because then-Commissioner Bill Bratton, whose “old-boy network” consisted of “all white males,” wanted “a local black just to color him.” The plan, he added, was that “this n—-r was going to be his f—kin g puppet.”

That’s absurd. Among other things, the promotion would’ve made him a top candidate to succeed Bratton — and rumors then had the mayor strongly considering it. Did Banks really want to pass up that opportunity?

Police politics in New York City is already too racially charged for Banks to be fanning the flames with incendiary charges. He’d do better giving some answers about all that cash.

Source: Read Full Article