NYC Mayor, NYPD Commissioner condemn 'selfish' cops turning backs at slain officers' funerals
By RYAN GORMAN
New York officials blasted the "selfishness" of cops who turned their backs on Mayor Bill de Blasio as he eulogized slain officers during a press conference discussing reduced crime numbers.
De Blasio, flanked by NYPD officials including Commissioner Bill Bratton, called the NYPD the "world's greatest" after touting a 4.6 percent reduction in crime, but both men condemned the lack of decorum shown by thousands of officers.
"This is the world's greatest police department. I have no doubt about it," said the mayor, in praise of "New York's Finest." He would repeat the mantra several times during the Monday press conference.
The insistence came despite Bratton calling out the thousands turning their backs on de Blasio during funerals for detectives Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos.
"I am very disappointed in those who did not comply with my request," to not turn their backs on de Blasio, said Bratton. "You don't put on a uniform and go to a funeral and perform a political act."
De Blasio added: "They were disrespectful to the people of this city.
"At a time when a people of the city felt respect to the NYPD, some individual officers showed disrespect to those families."
When asked about the widely-reported slowdown in arrests over the past two weeks, both de Blasio and Bratton dismissed the notion, saying that recent protests and the extended period of mourning after the murder of two officers has lowered the department's morale, but not its resolve.
"I certainly don't think a few aberrant days suggest anything," de Blasio insisted.
"At this time I'd not use the word slowdown," said Bratton. "We are not in a public safety crisis."
Both men assured the public that every step is being taken to gauge whether there is an organized job action and said it would be "dealt with forcefully" if officers are found to
The slowdown was first called for December 20 in the hours after the murders of Liu and Ramos in a police union memo first obtained by AOL News.
Bratton also refuted the memo's claim that de Blasio has blood on his hands for the officer's deaths.
"I do not believe [de Blasio] is responsible," said the commissioner.
Murders dropped to only 332 in 2014 after approaching 600 as recently as 2006, according to Deputy Commissioner Dermot Shea. Robberies dropped to 16,534.
Both numbers are the lowest recorded in the "modern" Comstat era introduced by Bratton in 1993 during his first term as police commissioner.
The mayor repeatedly praised police, saying the NYPD is "envied around the world" and that other departments often look to the 35,000-strong police force to learn how to better police citizen.
"People of this city appreciate our police, appreciate how hard the work is and see the progress we are making," said de Blasio.
Transit-related crime is down 14.8 percent, said Shea. There were only two murders on city subways.
De Blasio insisted that 2014's "record setting" year is only the beginning, and that he envisions 2015 as an opportunity to not improve on these numbers.
"Is this as low as it can go, I don't think so, and we're certainly going to strive to get it lower," said Bratton.
The mayor also expressed his hopes for a closer relationship between police and citizens.
"When you bring police and community closer together ... it's an act of safety for all," he insisted. "I see a New York where citizens and police officers are partners ... working together."