Bill de Blasio gave his second speech for a fallen police officer within a week’s time. And for the second time, police turned their backs on him in protest. The mayor and the police commissioner responded in a press conference on Monday, saying that the display was “disrespectful.”
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the funeral was for Wenjian Liu, a police officer killed along with his partner Rafael Ramos by a cop-hating assailant on December 20th.
Bill de Blasio gave a press conference the day after the funeral, which quickly focused on the protests.
“They were disrespectful to the families who had lost their loved ones. I can’t understand why anyone would do such a thing in the context like that.”
According to the Washington Post, Commissioner Bill Bratton came on afterwards, saying he couldn’t understand why officers used the funeral as an opportunity to take a “political action.” Bratton later referred to it as “selfish.”
The back-turning came after the commissioner implicitly said in an internal memo that protests against Mayor de Blasio would take attention away from the honored police officers. That memo was apparently ignored by hundreds of officers.
According to Newsday, the protests are beginning to spread beyond funerals. Officers have been making significantly fewer arrests since the murder of officers Ramos and Liu.
Bratton wouldn’t yet directly call the phenomenon a labor action or “slowdown,” but the commissioner said he and his team are investigating the possibility.
“If in fact we feel, myself and the leadership team, that that is what we are dealing with, we will call it that [a slowdown] and deal with it according.”
The commissioner declined to offer any statistics on the recent drop-off. He also remained vague on what he’d do if the “slowdown” were related to the police force’s new animosity toward Bill de Blasio.
The friction between de Blasio and the police department began shortly after the grand jury decision in the choking case of Eric Garner. De Blasio told ABC News that he takes special care to instruct his biracial son on how to deal with the police. The mayor’s comments to his son succeeded in infuriating many officers.
As the Inquisitr reported, Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association head Patrick Lynch even went so far as to blame the mayor for the Liu and Ramos’ deaths, saying he had “blood on his hands.”
With police officers continuing their protests against de Blasio, there doesn’t seem to be any sign that tensions will let up anytime soon.
Still, the primary purpose of de Blasio’s press conference was to discuss the overall crime rate in New York, which has dropped 4.6 percent in the last year. The mayor praised the police department, while at the same time dismissing “the loudest and most disrespectful voices.”
It was also the third consecutive year without the controversial stop-and-frisk policies. Mayor Bill de Blasio revoked that policy shortly after taking office.
[Image Credit: Public Advocate for the City of New York/Wikimedia Commons]