The union representing New York City police officers has given their rank-and-file members a form that they can fill out, asking New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio to not attend their funeral, should they be killed in the line of duty.
Traditionally, the Mayor of NYC attends the funerals of police officers killed in the line of duty, reports the New York Post. However, in light of recent events, the Patrolmen’s Benevoloent Association (PBA) has offered a statement that officers can sign, requesting that the Mayor, and also City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, stay away from their funerals, should they be killed in the line of duty.
The text of the request is made available via the Atlantic.
“I, [NAME], as a New York City police officer, request that Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito refrain from attending my funeral services in the event that I am killed in the line of duty. Due to Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Mark-Viverito’s consistent refusal to show police officers the support and respect they deserve, I believe that their attendance at the funeral of a fallen New York City police officer is an insult to that officer’s memory and sacrifice.”
At issue are remarks DeBlasio has made following a grand jury’s decision not to indict the NYPD officer whose actions, including an illegal chokehold, contributed to the death of Eric Garner. DeBlasio has stated publicly that he has taught his 17-year-old bi-racial son, Dante, about being careful around NYPD officers.
“We’ve had to literally train him, as families have all over this city for decades, in how to take special care in any encounter he has with the police officers who are there to protect him.”
PBA spokesman Patrick Lynch said such comments throw NYPD officers “under the bus.”
In a larger sense, the PBA is upset with DeBlasio over what they see as a lack of support following Eric Garner’s death, as well as DeBlasio’s opposition to the city’s “Stop-and-Frisk” policy.
For his part, Mayor DeBlasio is not impressed with the PBA’s form.
“Incendiary rhetoric like this serves only to divide the city, and New Yorkers reject these tactics. The mayor and the speaker both know better than to think this inappropriate stunt represents the views of the majority of police officers and their families.”
Do you believe the NYC police are right to ask Bill DeBlasio to stay away from their funerals?
[Image courtesy of: New York Daily News]