New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton give implicit directions to police officers to not turn their backs on the Mayor de Blasio at Sunday’s funeral for slain cop Wenjian Liu.
According to the Daily News, the commissioner was referring to a display at last Saturday’s police funeral where 20,000 officers turned their backs to the mayor as he began to speak, saying that it was disrespectful and distracting. The city hall and police department have been at odds after the mayor publicly made provocative remarks about New York law enforcement.
“A hero’s funeral is about grieving, not grievance.”
That was the start of William Bratton’s internal statement to the New York Police Department.
“I remind you that when you don the uniform of the department, you are bound by the tradition, honor and decency that go with it… The country’s consciousness of that funeral has focused on an act of disrespect shown by a portion of those… officers. It was not all the officers, and it was not disrespect directed at Detective Ramos. But all officers were painted by it… It stole the valor, honor and attention that rightfully belonged to the memory of Detective Rafael Ramos’ life and sacrifice.
“That was not the intent, I know. But it was the result.”
Participants in the protest said it was spontaneous and spread quickly among the New York officers.
De Blasio continued with his speech, receiving nothing back but icy silence.
The conflict began shortly after news broke about the death of Eric Garner, a New York African-American man who was strangled to death by police.
After the incident de Blasio told ABC News, “What parents have done for decades who have children of color, especially young men of color, is train them to be very careful when they have… an encounter with a police officer.”
Ed Mullins, the head of the Sergeants Benevolent Association called the comments “moronic,” and said they were proof the mayor should get out of New York.
Weeks later, patrolmen Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were gunned down by an assailant with an animosity for the police, who later shot himself. Afterward, Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association head Patrick Lynch blamed the mayor for the assault, saying he had “blood on his hands.”
De Blasio has refused to make an apology, or say he has done anything wrong, and still refers to New York City police as the best in the country.
The commissioner hopes that the war of words stays out of what is meant to be a day remembrance for two of New York’s honored officers.
The full statement from the police Commissioner can be found here.
[Image Credit: The office of Public Advocate for the City of New York/Wikimedia Commons]