NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Police union officials blasted Mayor Bill de Blasio Saturday, saying the blood of two NYPD cops who were shot and killed in Brooklyn is on his hands.
“There’s blood on many hands tonight. Those that incited violence on the streets under the guise of protest that tried to tear down what NYPD officers did every day. We tried to warn it must not go on, it cannot be tolerated,” Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said. “That blood on the hands starts at City Hall in the office of the mayor.”
“Those who allowed this to happen will be held accountable,” he added.
The Sergeants Benevolent Association tweeted: “The blood of 2 executed police officers is on the hands of Mayor de Blasio. May God bless their families and may they rest in peace.”
On Saturday, some officers turned their backs on de Blasio as he walked into the hospital following the shooting deaths of Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.
The mayor’s office later issued a statement responding to the PBA, saying, “It’s unfortunate that in a time of great tragedy, some would resort to irresponsible, overheated rhetoric that angers and divides people. 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.”
Others also took to social media to place blame on the mayor.
Former New York Gov. George Pataki tweeted: “Sickened by these barbaric acts, which sadly are a predictable outcome of divisive anti-cop rhetoric of #ericholder & #mayordeblasio. #NYPD”
NY State Sen. Greg Ball posted a statement on Facebook that said, in part, “Today, our NYPD and other law enforcement and emergency responders have walking targets on their backs and are in grave danger. Mince no words. The Mayor is directly responsible for their safety or lack thereof.”
Rep. Peter King said it is “time for elected officials to stand by the men and women of law enforcement and end the demeaning of police officers and grand juries.”
Police said the suspect, 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley, approached the passenger window of a marked police car and opened fire, striking Ramos and Liu in the head.
It happened around 2:47 p.m. Saturday at the corner of Myrtle Avenue and Tompkins Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
“They were, quite simply, assassinated — targeted for their uniform,” Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said. “They were ambushed and murdered.”
PHOTOS: NYPD Cops Murdered
Bratton said Brinsley had made online posts that were “very anti-police” prior to the shooting, which comes at a tense time between police unions and de Blasio.
Demonstrators around the country have staged die-ins and other protests since the ruling, a decision that closely followed a Missouri grand jury’s refusal to indict an officer in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.
Following the Garner decision, de Blasio said he and his wife, Chirlane, have had to have painful conversations with their teenage son, Dante, about “how to take special care with any encounter he may have with police officers.”
“I’ve had to worry over the years, Chirlane has had to worry: Is Dante safe each night?” de Blasio said earlier this month after the grand jury’s decision. “And not just from some of the painful realities of crime and violence in some of our neighborhoods but safe from the very people they want to have faith in as their protectors.”
Lynch slammed the mayor’s comments, saying “our city is safe because of police officers,” adding de Blasio was “throwing them under the bus.”
Just days ago, Lynch suggested police officers sign a petition that demanded the mayor not attend their funerals should they die on the job.
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