Leaders of the city’s five police unions will “stand down” until slain officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos are laid to rest, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Monday.
In the hours after Liu and Ramos were shot by Ismaaiyl Brinsley in Bed-Stuy, Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said Mayor Bill de Blasio had blood on his hands, and he and other police leaders said the mayor’s accommodation of anti-police protesters led directly to the two officers’ deaths.
Lynch, Sergeant’s Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins and other police officers turned their back on de Blasio as he arrived at a Brooklyn hospital to meet with the officers' families Saturday night.
Liu and Ramos were shot by an apparently deranged man Brinsley, who had shot his ex-girlfriend hours earlier near Baltimore, and had a long record of arrests for mainly minor crimes in Ohio and Georgia.
Ramos’s funeral will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday at Christ Tabernacle Church in Queens. Bratton said the NYPD is helping Liu’s family travel from China, and a funeral will be planned once they arrive.
“Union leaders are free to say what they believe and what they feel .. that’s part of the bargain,” Bratton said.
De Blasio visited the families of the two murdered police officers and later spoke out twice Monday.
“We have to understand an attack on them was an attack on all of us, it was an attack on our democracy, it was an attack on our values, it was an attack on every single New Yorker,” the mayor said at a Police Athletic League lunch in Midtown. “It’s an attack on all police, and the family of the NYPD is feeling this deeply.”
De Blasio called on cops and protesters to halt their debate out of respect for the slain officers‘ families.
Appearing later before reporters with Bratton at police headquarters, de Blasio said he believed that the city will “transcend” the current tensions between cops and citizens.
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said on NBC’s Today Show that tensions in New York reminded him of the 1970’s,when he first became a cop.
“Who would have thought this would be deja vu all over again?” Bratton said.
Bratton, who several weeks ago said the NYPD had lost the trust of many New Yorkers, said de Blasio had lost the trust of some NYPD officers.
Still, he said he didn’t “support” officers turning their backs to de Blasio at Woodhull Hospital.
“There’s a lot of moving currents creating that tension and atmosphere,” Bratton said, citing labor negotiations and recent attacks on rookie officers. “The issue is really starting to go down partisan lines … this is something that should be bringing us all together, not taking us apart.”
Police union leader Mullins, said “Sadly, for the people of New York, I feel they’ve lost their police department.”