Plane Pulling Anti-De Blasio Banner Seen Flying Over Hudson River


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The mounting backlash against Mayor Bill de Blasio took to the skies Friday in the wake of two officers’ deaths in Brooklyn.

A plane pulling a banner reading: “De Blasio, Our Backs Have Turned To You” was seen flying over the Hudson River near the George Washington Bridge and lower Manhattan Friday morning.

Blogger and former NYPD cop John Cardillo tweeted a picture of it Friday. He said a coalition of retired and current NYPD cops, detectives and supervisors paid to have the banner flown and asked him to release a statement.

The statement said the group is “outraged by the mayor’s incendiary rhetoric and for facilitating the current hostile climate towards the NYPD.”

“It is our opinion that Mayor de Blasio’s dangerous and irresponsible comments about his and his wife’s concern for their son’s safety at the hands of the NYPD fueled the flames that led to civil unrest, and potentially to the deaths of PO Wenjian Liu and PO Rafael Ramos, as well as the continued threats against NYPD personnel,” the statement said. “The Mayor shows us no respect, and encourages the public to follow his lead.”

The statement went on to say that they “no longer have confidence in Mayor de Blasio, nor in his ability to lead New York City.”

It said: “Mayor de Blasio turned his back on us long before we turned our backs on him.”

De Blasio’s deputy press secretary, Wiley Norvell, issued a statement in response to the banner, saying, “This is a time to think about the families and honor our fallen officers. Dividing people won’t help our city heal. We’ll continue to stand with responsible New Yorkers who are doing the right thing in a time of pain.”

The NYPD and Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association had no comment.

Emotions have been ramped up since the deaths of Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu on Saturday.

The two officers were ambushed and killed by Ismaaiyl Brinsley as they sat in their patrol car in Brooklyn, police said.

Brinsley later killed himself. Prior to the shooting, investigators said he posted online threats to police and made references to Eric Garner and Michael Brown.

Police unions and de Blasio have been locked in a public battle over treatment of officers following a Staten Island grand jury’s decision not to indict an officer in connection with Garner’s death.

After 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.”

PBA President Patrick Lynch slammed the mayor’s comments, saying “our city is safe because of police officers,” adding de Blasio was “throwing them under the bus.”

Lynch and others have since blamed the deaths of Ramos and Liu on the mayor, saying their blood was on his hands.

Some officers even turned their backs on de Blasio as he walked into the hospital following the officers’ deaths.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Monday that he didn’t consider the move appropriate, “particularly in that setting.”

Earlier this week, de Blasio said it was time to put aside political debates and protests until Ramos and Liu are laid to rest.

But Lynch had previously suggested that officers sign a petition demanding the mayor not attend their funerals if they die in the line of duty.

Ramos’ family said they would like the mayor to attend his funeral on Saturday.

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