New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton criticized NYPD officers for "inappropriate" behavior displayed at the funeral of officer Rafael Ramos Saturday when officers turned their backs on Mayor Bill de Blasio. The mayor is said to be focused on promoting unity after commenting earlier this month that he told his son not to reach for his cell phone when he's around police for fear that he might be harmed.
Officer Ramos was laid to rest in Queens, one week after 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley fatally shot him and officer Wenjian Liu in an execution style murder in Brooklyn. The slaying heightened tensions between the NYPD and de Blasio, and officers turned their backs on him for a second time while he spoke at Ramos' funeral on Saturday, which drew criticism.
"I certainly don't support that action yesterday, I think it was very inappropriate at that event," Bratton said on CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday. "That funeral was held to honor officer Ramos, and to bring politics or to bring issues into that event, I think, was very inappropriate and I do not support it."
Some critics believe the mayor has sided with protesters in the wake of civil unrest and the police union said the mayor has blood on his hands after the shooting.
In an interview with ABC's "This Week," earlier this month, de Blasio said: "What parents have done for decades who have children of color, especially young men of color, is train them to be very careful when they have an encounter with a police officer. With Dante, very early on, we said, 'Look, if a police officer stops you, do everything he tells you to do. Don't move suddenly. Don't reach for your cellphone.' Because we knew, sadly, there's a greater chance it might be misinterpreted if it was a young man of color."
De Blasio's Deputy Press Secretary, Wiley Norvell, told The Christian Post that right now the city's focused on honoring the slain officers and promoting unity in the wake of such "tragedy."
"The Ramos and Liu families, our police department and our city are dealing with an unconscionable tragedy. Our sole focus is unifying this city and honoring the lives of our two police officers," Norvell said.
Police union head Patrick Lynch made headlines recently for suggesting that de Blasio played a role in the shootings.
"There's blood on many hands tonight," said Lunch, after helping orchestrate the first back-turning snub. "That blood starts on the steps of City Hall, in the office of the mayor."
Bratton said that while tensions are likely to linger for some time, peace efforts are being made to help break the divide between the mayor and the NYPD.
"I think it's probably a rift that is going to go on for a while longer," Bratton said in a separate appearance on "Meet the Press." "However, we will be making efforts to sit down and talk with the union leaders in particular to deal with their issues."