De Blasio Calls Cops Who Turned Their Backs ‘Disrespectful’

By

While NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said it was “very inappropriate” for officers to turn their backs on Bill de Blasio at Rafael Ramos’s funeral, for the past two weeks the mayor took a conciliatory tone in scripted remarks and avoided questions from reporters. That ended on Monday, a day after hundreds of officers ignored a request from Bratton by turning away from the mayor at Wenjian Liu’s funeral. “I can’t understand why anyone would do something like that in a context like that,” de Blasio said during a press conference Monday. “I think they were disrespectful to the families and people of this city who honor the work of the NYPD. So at a time when I think the people of the city felt tremendous respect for the NYPD some individuals were incredibly disrespectful.”

The press conference was held to tout a 4.6 percent drop in the crime rate over the last year, and de Blasio referred to the NYPD as “the world’s greatest” twice. When asked about Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch’s comment that he had blood on his hands, de Blasio said it was a “totally inaccurate statement, totally inappropriate and it’s unfair, it’s evident.” As for his personal reaction to the NYPD’s protests, the mayor said, “I’m not concerned about my feelings. My feelings don’t matter here.”

Bratton had harsher words for the NYPD, and what he called “effectively a labor action” taken during a funeral. “We are honoring the death of two police officers. I just don’t understand it. I just do not understand it. What is the need in the middle of that ceremony to engage in a political action?” Bratton said. “I compliment the 20,000-plus who did what you would expect at a funeral. They stood and honored their comrades who had passed. So I think we should focus on those rather than the few who disrespected and took so much attention.” He added, “Looking at the papers and news – the selfishness of that action … the selfishness of it — don’t put on your uniform and go to a funeral and engage in a political action.”

Despite taking a more aggressive stance, de Blasio vowed to “find a way forward” with his detractors in the NYPD. “The people want us all to come together,” he said. “The people believe that we can do better.”