NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton is set to meet with police union leaders for Wednesday to address deteriorating relations between rank-and-file officers and Mayor Bill de Blasio.
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 Eric Garner’s death.READ MORE: Hundreds Of Bodies Of COVID Victims Still Being Stored In Refrigerated Morgue In Brooklyn
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.”
Then on Dec. 20, NYPD officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were shot and killed in their squad car in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Lynch said de Blasio had “blood on his hands” in the shooting, and some officers turned their backs on de Blasio as he walked into the hospital following the officers’ deaths.
They did the same at the funerals of both slain officers, a move Police Commissioner Bratton called inappropriate.
On Monday, while discussing record on low crime stats in NYC, he called the back-turning action “selfish” and said the officers who did it “embarrassed themselves.”
“You don’t put on a uniform and go to a funeral and perform a political act,” Bratton said.
But the unions have demanded a public apology from de Blasio.
“The mayor needs to be humble. He needs to realize that his philosophical view of coming into the role of mayor of New York — although it’s his personal view — is not the view of all 8 million people. And he needs to tone that in a different way; channel that in a different way, with some type of an apology,” Sergeants’ Benevolent Association President Edward Mullins told CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer.READ MORE: 'A Modern Miracle': New Jersey Mom Celebrating Mother's Day After Successfully Donating Kidney To 7-Year-Old Son
Planes have also been seeing over the Hudson River pulling banners castigating de Blasio. On Tuesday, banners were seen reading, “De Blasio. You Failed All NY’ers. It’s Time. Resign.” And, “NY Support NYPD. Rest In Peace Dets Liu & Ramos.”
The mayor met with police union leaders last week, but the unions said the meeting did not go anywhere.
“There was no resolve,” said Patrick Lynch, head of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association. “Actions speak louder than words and time will tell.”
That meeting happened right after the NYPD released new crime statistics showing that arrests have dropped 66 percent since the officers’ deaths.
The NYPD denies the existence of a coordinated work slowdown as part of the continuing rift between the police force and de Blasio.
It says the drop in arrests is due to a combination of officers grieving and being on edge after the fatal shootings of Liu and Ramos and not making unnecessary stops and summonses.
On Monday night, two more officers — Andrew Dossi, 30, and Aliro Pellerano, 38 – were shot and wounded while investigating a robbery in the Fordham section of the Bronx. Two suspects have been charged in connection with the incident.
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