Despite NYPD Commissioner William Bratton’s request that officers not turn their backs on Mayor Bill de Blasio during the funeral for an officer killed in a brazen attack in December, dozens ignored his wishes, choosing instead to partake in the silent protest.
The action defied Bratton’s wishes, but also sent a larger message to residents of New York City — the tension between the mayor for his perceived support of protesters calling for an end to police brutality and the department doesn’t seem to be dissipating anytime soon. Many officers have remarked that de Blasio’s handling of protests in the wake of Eric Garner’s death — the man choked by an NYPD officer in July — has created an environment that led to the police shootings late last year.
During the funeral for NYPD officer Wenjian Liu, de Blasio told the crowd, some backs turned to him, that Liu was a family man who followed a “path of kindness.”
“This city welcomed detective Liu,” de Blasio said, delivering a eulogy at the service. “New York stands a little taller today because of the time he walked among us.”
At Liu’s wake on Saturday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who could not attend Sunday’s funeral because of the death of his own father, called Liu a hero.
Liu, born in China, moved to the United States with his parents and a dream: To become a New York City Police officer. He was on the force for seven years and got married two months before he was killed along with his partner, Officer Rafael Ramos, on Dec. 20. Ramos’ funeral was held a week ago.
“When he joined the NYPD he knew his family would worry about him,” the mayor said. “So he did one of those caring acts that showed the good in him. At the end of every work day he called his father to tell his family he was safe and was on his way home.”
His widow, Pei Xia Chen, spoke through tears as she said to Liu, “I love you forever.”
“I thank you for sharing this moment with me, with us, with our family, to reflect the goodness of his soul and the wonderful man that he is. He is my soul mate … my best friend,” she said.
This is the third time NYPD officers have turned their back on the mayor in political protest — officers first staged a protest during a press conference to address the shooting of officers Liu and Rafael Ramos in December, and again at Ramos’ funeral.
SOURCE: Huffington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty | VIDEO SOURCE: News Inc.