The rift between New York's Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York's finest has deepened following the brutal assassination of two NYPD officers in Brooklyn and a refusal by protesters to halt their protests over the killing of African-American Eric Garner by police.
The city's police felt after the death of Garner that de Blasio did not sufficiently support them, leading an angry Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association (PBA), to lay the assassination murders of NYPD officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos by black gunman Ismaaiyl Brinsley in protest of Garner's death at the door of City Hall, The New York Times
"There is blood on many hands, from those that incited violence under the guise of protest to try to tear down what police officers did every day. That blood on the hands starts on the steps of City Hall in the office of the mayor," Lynch said.
The PBA has called on NYPD officers to request that de Blasio not attend their funerals in the event they are killed in the line of duty.
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani
told Fox News that de Blasio owes police an apology and noted, "He has played into, unfortunately, the national rhetoric of police officers being racist. At numerous times, you have seen him on television attacking the police.
"You've got these maniacs on the street who are calling for the killing of police officers. Where was the mayor when that was happening?"
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The mayor and police commissioner William Bratton called on protesters to halt their activities until after the slain officers' funerals but the Rev. Al Sharpton refused, Mediaite
Al O'Leary, spokesman for the PBA, told the Times, "For years, Pat (Lynch) was not the only voice of support for police, and now he is, because there is no support for the police in City Hall."
When de Blasio came to Woodhull Hospital where the slain policemen had been taken, police pointedly turned their backs on him as he walked in. Bratton said, "I was at the hospital when that event occurred. I don't support that particular activity. I don't think it was appropriate, particularly in that setting, but it's reflective of the anger of some of them," the Daily News
He cited an "undeniable rift" between de Blasio and the NYPD and added, "I think he (de Blasio) has lost it with some officers," who are angered over de Blasio's apparent support for the protesters.
Jeanne Zaino, political science professor at Iona College, told the Daily News, "If the people we depend on to protect the city don't feel that the mayor has their back, it's very unlikely that the people will feel safe."
The Rev. Calvin Butts, of Harlem's Abyssinian Baptist Church, noted the clash between de Blasio and Lynch, and told the Daily News, "He needs to take Lynch in the back room and say, 'Listen, you're about to make this city explode.' And the fact that he hasn't done it and the thing that bothers me about the mayor is, who is he listening to?"
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