New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has been relatively quiet on the cops who turned their backs to him at the funerals for the NYPD officers who were shot and killed in Brooklyn last month. That is, until yesterday.
During a press conference regarding the city's crime rate, which dropped by nearly 5 percent last year, de Blasio spoke up:
Those individuals who took certain actions this past week … they were disrespectful to the families who had lost their loved one. I can’t understand why anyone would do something like that in a context like that. I think they were disrespectful to the families and people of this city who honor the work of the NYPD. So at a time when I think the people of the city felt tremendous respect for the NYPD some individuals were incredibly disrespectful.
Thousands of officers reportedly turned their backs to de Blasio while he spoke at the funeral of Officer Wenjian Liu on Sunday. The brazen display came a week after many did the same at the service for Officer Rafael Ramos, and a day after NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton asked police to avoid political statements at Liu's funeral. Bratton also chimed in, expressing his disgust:
We are honoring the death of two police officers. I just don’t understand it. I just do not understand it. What is the need in the middle of that ceremony to engage in a political action? I compliment the 20,000-plus who did what you would expect at a funeral. They stood and honored their comrades who had passed. So I think we should focus on those rather than the few who disrespected and took so much attention.
Looking at the papers and news – the selfishness of that action … the selfishness of it — don’t put on your uniform and go to a funeral and engage in a political action
Patrick Lynch, President of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, previously insisted that de Blasio was at fault for Liu and Ramos' deaths for fostering an anti-police environment in the city. The mayor apparently accomplished this by expressing empathy for Eric Garner supporters. De Blasio also addressed that, calling Lynch's assertion "totally inaccurate," "totally inappropriate," and "unfair."
Despite the growing rift between de Blasio and the city's police force, the mayor still maintains that both sides can "find a way forward together."
[via CBS New York]