New York's former police commissioner said that city police officers were wrong to turn their backs to embattled Mayor Bill de Blasio, but their action does not rise to the level of a disciplinary issue, Mediaite
Ray Kelly, speaking on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Monday, told co-host Mark Halperin that he did not think the officers should be fired for turning around in a show of disrespect during a press conference held by the mayor at Woodhull Hospital on Saturday night.
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"It's certainly something untoward," Kelly told Halperin of the conduct, according to Mediate. "It’s something I would prefer not to have happened. There’s nothing that would allow that to result in discipline.
"Is it bad form? Yes. Does it rise to a disciplinary issue? I don’t think so."
Kelly has said in the past that the mayor ran an anti-police election campaign, creating with his rhetoric an adverse environment just when police had a 70 percent approval rating, Mediaite added.
"I think when the mayor made statements about how they had to train his son [Dante], who is biracial, to be careful when he’s dealing with the police, I think that set off this latest firestorm," Kelly said in a Sunday interview with ABC News
, noting that the environment for police had changed significantly after a more violent time in the '70s.
He said that as anger over the brazen shootings cools down, the police will continue to do their duty ably.
"I've never seen officers back off from their sworn duty," Kelly told ABC.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has stressed that it is over the top for some to blame de Blasio for the shootings, even as the head of the police union, Pat Lynch, has done just that.
"I feel bad for the mayor," Giuliani told Fox News
. "He must be heartbroken over the loss of two police officers. I can’t believe this is what he wanted. I don’t [think] he’s a bad man in any way. I think he’s a man who’s pursuing the wrong policies."
He praised the work of the police in saving black lives and said the political rhetoric used by leadership was off-base in solving real problems for the city.
"The police are doing the most in these very, very poor communities," Giuliani said. "The police officers are doing the most to save the children that are at greatest risk.
"The politicians with this propaganda, separating the community from the police, are doing something that's shameful. And they have to stop doing that."
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