A day after hundreds of NYPD officers, in an act of defiance, turned their back on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio as he spoke at a funeral for Officer Rafael Ramos, who was killed along with Officer Wenjian Liu earlier this month, New York City Police Commissioner defended the mayor and said the officers' act was "very inappropriate."
"That funeral was held to honor Officer Ramos, and to bring politics, to bring issues into that event, I think was very inappropriate and I do not support it," said Commissioner Bill Bratton on CBS' Face The Nation. "He is the mayor of New York. He was there representing the citizens of New York to express their remorse and their regret at that death.
"At the same time," he added, "it is reflective unfortunately of the feelings of some of our officers at this juncture—about not just the mayor but, I think, about some of the many issues that are afflicting the city at this time." He admitted that "morale in the department at this time is low, there's no getting around that," noting contract negotiations with the city as well as national dialogues about relations between police and communities of color.
However, Bratton defended de Blasio: "This is a mayor that cares very deeply about New York City police officers, cares very deeply about the divide in this city at this time and is working very hard to heal that divide."
The relationship between de Blasio and some of the city's police officers grew tense after comments de Blasio made in the wake of grand jury decisions not to indict police officers who had killed Michael Brown and Eric Garner. De Blasio said he and his wife had found it necessary "to literally train" their son Dante how to handle encounters with police.