Wed, Jan 07, 2015 - Page 7 News List

NYC police were disrespectful to turn backs: mayor


New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said it was “disrespectful” for some New York Police Department (NYPD) officers to turn their backs to him during a pair of funerals for slain police officers.

The acts of protest were hurtful to the families of the two officers killed in an ambush last month, De Blasio said in his first public remarks on the officers’ protests.

The chasm between police unions and De Blasio has created the biggest crisis of his year-old tenure. Police union leaders have said that he contributed to an environment that allowed the officers’ slayings by supporting protests following the police killings of unarmed black men in New York City and Ferguson, Missouri.

De Blasio said that the public rebuke was an offense to the city at large.

“Those individuals who took certain actions [in] the last two weeks, they were disrespectful to the families involved. That’s the bottom line,” De Blasio said at a news conference at police headquarters. “They were disrespectful to the families who lost their loved ones. I can’t understand why anyone would do such a thing in the context like that.”

Patrick Lynch, head of the city’s rank-and-file police union, said after the deaths of NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu (劉文健) that De Blasio had “blood on his hands.”

Thousands of officers turned their backs on De Blasio when he delivered eulogies at Ramos’ funeral last month and again on Sunday at Liu’s funeral.

New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton, who has steadfastly supported the mayor during the widening rift with the rank-and-file, also condemned the action, saying the officers involved “embarrassed themselves.”

He also called the protests a selfish act that dominated news coverage and diverted attention from the two slain officers.

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