When Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York City, spoke at the funeral of fallen NYPD Officer Rafael Ramos, many other NYPD officers in the crowd turned their backs towards the mayor in open protest. Now, New York Police Commisioner William Bratton is calling this act inappropriate at the funeral for the fallen officer.
“I certainly don’t support that action,” said Bratton according to the AP. “That funeral was held to honour Officer Ramos. And to bring politics, to bring issues into that event, I think, was very inappropriate.”
The mayor has been criticized recently for his remarks concerning the relationship between officers, specifically those working with the NYPD, and members in the African American community.
Various leaders of police unions in New York City were responsible for some of the negative remarks towards the mayor. The symbolic gesture of the officers turning their backs on the mayor at the funeral of Officer Ramos though, has not been claimed by any police union members. Patrick Lynch, the head of one union, dodged reporter’s questions about the action after the funeral.
“The issues go far beyond race relations in this city,” Bratton said to Chuck Todd on ‘Meet the Press.’ Bratton continued by saying, “I think it’s probably a rift that is going to go on for a while longer… However, we will be making efforts to sit down and talk with the union leaders in particular to deal with their issues.”
Bratton also said de Blasio has been “totally supportive” of the NYPD by contributing many millions of dollars to the department’s budget for officer safety enhancements.