New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the funeral of one of two officers killed last week in a move that is being referred to as an "assassination" and an "ambush." While speaking though, hundreds of NYPD officers turned their backs, and would not even look at the Mayor while his words were spoken.
ABC News reported that the funeral for Officer, now Detective, Rafael Ramos was held at the Christ Tabernacle Church in Queens, New York, on Saturday afternoon. It was broadcast on giant screens to thousands upon thousands who stood outside in attendance.
Once Mayor Bill de Blasio took the podium to speak at the funeral, thousands of NYPD officers immediately turned their backs in unison.
Signs of protest were littered around, and some were clearly seen amid the giant crowd. About a block from the church, a retired NYPD Officer by the name of John Mangan held up a sign with a very clear message.
"God Bless the NYPD. Dump de Blasio."
The New York Post reported that union officials for the NYPD have said that Bill de Blasio has "blood on his hands," and state that he has created a dangerous atmosphere for officers. They believe that is what led to the assassination of Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.
Ramos and Liu sat in their patrol car last week and were executed, and it has brought about a great debate as to the environment that the NYPD has to work in. It was clearly evident that the officers want change.
NOW: Showing defiance against #NYC Mayor #Deblasio, 1,000's of police turn their backs, face away from him. @NECN pic.twitter.com/x2FdEwapgg
— Justin Michaels (@JMichaelsNews) December 27, 2014
#Ramos NYPD turn their backs to mayor pic.twitter.com/oZGFdWngBJ
— Ilya Marritz (@ilyamarritz) December 27, 2014
However, this isn't the first time police turned their backs on the mayor.
Last Saturday night, Bill de Blasio walked down a corridor in the hospital where Officers Ramos and Liu had been taken. As he made his way to speak with their families, NYPD officers turned their backs on him.
Earlier in the evening, de Blasio approached an officer and said, "We're all in this together." Without flinching or looking away, the officer stared back at the Mayor and simply said, "No, we're not."
On Friday evening, Ramos' wake was held, and officers turned their back then too as de Blasio arrived.
It was about a week before the shooting of Ramos and Liu that a petition was being passed around by Patrick Lynch, the president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association. It was to demand that Mayor Bill de Blasio not attend the funeral of an NYPD officer if they died on the job.
It is not known if Ramos or Liu had signed it.
[Image via Reuters]