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NYPD Chief Says Cops Turning Their Backs on de Blasio Was ‘Very Inappropriate’

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 18: New York Police Commissioner William Bratton prepares to speak to the media at a news conference with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio to address the recent death of a man in police custody on July 18, 2014 in New York City. The mayor has promised a full investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Eric Garner after he was taken into police custody in Staten Island yesterday. A 400-pound, 6-foot-4 asthmatic, Garner (43) died after police put him in a chokehold outside of a conveinence store for illegally selling cigarettes. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Photo: Spencer Platt/2014 Getty Images

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton went on a couple of Sunday morning talk shows to confirm what many people were already thinking: “I certainly don’t support that action yesterday,” said Bratton when asked about the cops who turned their backs on Bill de Blasio as the mayor spoke at a Saturday memorial for murdered NYPD officer Rafael Ramos. “I think it was very inappropriate at that event. That funeral was held to honor Officer Ramos. To bring politics, to bring issues into that event was very inappropriate, and I do not support it.”

[De Blasio] is the mayor of New York. He was there representing the citizens of New York, to express their remorse and regret at that death and it was inappropriate,” added Bratton, who is currently faced with the unenviable task of bridging the divide between de Blasio and the NYPD.

Even former mayor Rudy Giuliani, a loud and frequent critic of de Blasio, said he didn’t approve of the back-turning. Joining Bratton on Face the Nation, Giuliani explained, “The mayor is not in any way to be treated with people turning their backs. Doesn’t matter if you like the mayor or you don’t like the mayor; you have to respect the mayor’s position.” However, he was sure to reiterate his take on how de Blasio handled the anti-police-brutality protests that took place in the weeks before Ismaaiyl Brinsley shot Ramos and officer Wenjian Liu. “He created an impression with the police that he was on the side of the protesters,” said Giuliani. “Now, some of those protesters were entirely legitimate, but some of those protesters were horrible, yelling ‘kill the police, kill the police, kill the police.’”

Over on Meet the Press, Bratton predicted that the tension would continue “for a while longer,” noting that de Blasio and the NYPD have problems “far beyond race relations in this city.” “However, we will be making efforts to sit down and talk with the [police] union leaders in particular to deal with their issues,” he said, pointing out that at least some of the cops’ animosity toward City Hall stems from a long-standing contract dispute. “It is unfortunate that we have at this time when we’ve had such great success in dealing with crime in New York City over the last 21 years, at a time when the city is effectively booming in so many ways, that we have these pent-up frustrations. This isn’t just about policing. This is about larger issues. We’re the tip of the iceberg.” In other words: Prepare to hear more from Pat Lynch.

Bratton: Cops’ Turned Backs Were Inappropriate