Believing City Hall has betrayed them, cops demonstrated their anger Saturday by turning their backs on Mayor de Blasio as he entered a Brooklyn hospital to pay respects to two murdered officers.
A startling video shows a hallway at Woodhull Hospital filled with cops silently facing away from de Blasio as he walks a blue gauntlet.
The demonstration, captured by WPIX11 News, included the presidents of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association and the the Sergeants Benevolent Association.
“Mayor de Blasio, the blood of these two officers is clearly on your hands,” Ed Mullins, president of the sergeants association, said in a statement to his union members Saturday night.
“It is your failed policies and actions that enabled this tragedy to occur,” Mullins said. “I only hope and pray that more of these ambushes and executions do not happen again.”
Patrick Lynch, head of the patrol officers’ union, echoed Mullins’ anger at the mayor.
“That blood on the hands starts on the steps of City Hall in the office of the mayor,” Lynch said in statement. “When these funerals are over, those responsible will be called on the carpet and held accountable.”
He added that the blame also goes to “those who incited violence on the street under the guise of protest that tried to tear down what NYC police officers did every day.”
“We tried to warn,” Lynch said. “It must not go on. It cannot be tolerated.”
Despite the police protest at Woodhull Hospital, an emotional de Blasio praised the slain officers, Rafael Ramos, 40, and Wenjian Liu, 32, for making the ultimate sacrifice.
“These officers were shot execution-style, (a) particularly despicable act, which goes to the very heart of our society and democracy,” de Blasio said. “When a police officer is murdered, it tears at the foundation of our society. It is an attack on all of us. It’s an attack on everything we hold dear.
“We depend on our police to protect us against forces of criminality and evil,” the mayor said. “They are a foundation of our society, and when they are attacked, it is an attack on the very concept of decency. Therefore, every New Yorker should feel they, too, were attacked. Our entire city was attacked by this heinous individual.”
The police unions have been ticked off by the support de Blasio has shown the legions protesting a Staten Island grand jury’s decision not to indict a cop in Eric Garner’s July 17 chokehold death.
“Ever since this mayor took office there has been a sense of lawlessness that is rampant in every borough,” Mullins said in his statement Saturday night.
He noted that even Police Commissioner Bill Bratton was attacked in Times Square by protesters who splattered him with red paint at a Nov. 25 demonstration.
“If we can’t keep the PC from danger, what lies ahead for all of us?” Mullins said.
Following the Dec. 3 grand jury announcement not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo, de Blasio said he was “astonished by the decision” and called it a “very painful day for so many New Yorkers.”
Lynch said de Blasio’s comments made cops feel like “they were thrown under the bus.”
De Blasio’s spokesman, Phil Walzak, said Saturday it was disappointing for leaders to bash the mayor in a time of grief.
“It’s unfortunate that in a time of great tragedy, some would resort to irresponsible, overheated rhetoric that angers and divides people,” Walzak said. “Mayor de Blasio understands this is the time when we must come together to support the families and friends of those brave officers New York City lost tonight – and the entire NYPD community.”
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson joined the mayor in expressing condolences to Ramos and Liu’s families.
“As we continue to investigate these senseless acts of violence against two of our city’s heroes, we pray for peace, support the men and women who bravely patrol our streets every day and mourn for the loss of these two police officers who gave their lives to keep us safe.”
City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito added, “NYPD officers face great danger every day to keep New Yorkers safe and violence against them will not be tolerated and will be met with the full force of the law.”
Some New Yorkers feared police will make them pay for the slayings committed by a cop-hating lunatic.
“If two cops got shot, what’s gonna happen to the neighborhood?” asked Lafiette Wells, 41, who lives in the Tompkins Houses, where the officers were executed.
“I just don’t want my son to come out the door and just be stopped because he’s black or he happens to be walking behind a police car and they’re all nervous and itchy-fingered,” Wells said. “My nerves are shot just thinking about it.”
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