The funeral of Wenjian Liu saw renewed police protests directed at New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose sympathetic ear toward protesters of the Eric Garner death has rubbed many of the city’s officers the wrong way.
After the funeral of Rafael Ramos, in which more than one hundred officers turned their backs to de Blasio as he spoke in honor of the slain officer, higher-ups have been issuing warnings not to continue the silent protests. With Liu’s funeral, those warnings have clearly fallen on deaf ears.
BBC News reports that “hundreds of police officers” turned their backs on the Mayor as he stood up to honor a Chinese-American officer who fought for “all that is decent and good,” de Blasio said, adding that he was a “young man who came here from China at the age of 12 in search of the American dream.”
Many officers feel “disrespected” by de Blasio, a sentiment that came out in the words of NYPD detective Camille Sanfilippo, who shared thoughts with the Associated Press.
“The mayor has no respect for us. Why should we have respect for him?”
It’s not clear whether the new batch of silent protests will be met with disciplinary action. The police commissioner, William Bratton, has spoken out against those turning their backs on de Blasio, issuing the following internal memo, previously reported on by the Inquisitr.
“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.”
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.”
Do you think that NYC police officers are justified in turning their backs on de Blasio at the funeral of Wenjian Liu?