Apologize to the NYPD, Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani Told Mayor Bill de Blasio
The deepening rift between New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NYPD seems to have one very vocal facilitator — namely, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani himself, who has voiced some pretty controversial opinions on the nationwide protests against police brutality following the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. On Sunday, after hundreds of police literally turned their backs on Mayor Bill de Blasio at slain officer Rafael Ramos' funeral, Giuliani urged Mayor de Blasio to "apologize" to NYPD officers for creating the "false impression" that the mayor sided with protestors over the city's police.
In an interview on CBS Face The Nation, the former mayor criticized the actions of some hundreds of officers for turning their backs on de Blasio during his eulogy at Ramos' funeral, but quickly followed by saying that the mayor owed the NYPD an apology. Giuliani said, on air:
The mayor is not in any way to be treated with people turning their backs. Doesn't matter if you like the mayor or you don't like the mayor. You have to respect the mayor's position. I don't support that. But I do believe Mayor de Blasio should apologize to the New York City Department. I said it day one, and I think he'd get this over with if he did it.
Mayor de Blasio, please say you're sorry to them for having created a false impression of them. You did create a false impression of them. Say you're sorry.
Protests on the city streets flared after a Staten Island grand jury decided against indicting an NYPD officer for Garner's death, after said officer put an asthmatic Garner in a stranglehold. Mayor de Blasio appeared to side with the protestors when he brought up concerns about his mixed-race son, Dante, and his interactions with police officers. Many in the force were affronted by his comment, and police union leader, Patrick Lynch, accused de Blasio of throwing the NYPD "under the bus."
Things took a dire turn when Ramos and his partner, Wenjian Liu, were fatally shot in their squad car in Brooklyn on Dec. 20 by a mentally unstable man, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who claimed it was in retribution for Garner's and Brown's death. The shooting saw de Blasio face a torrent of criticism, chief among them from — again — Lynch, who accused the mayor of having "blood on his hands" for the two officers' deaths. Former NYPD Commissioner, Ray Kelly, said that the mayor's comment stoked "anti-police" sentiment, echoing former New York Governor George Pataki's opinion.
De Blasio seems to have at least one ally in the NYPD, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, who called the police officers' protest at the funeral "inappropriate." Bratton has also previously condemned the officers who turned their backs on de Blasio when he arrived at the hospital after Liu and Ramos' fatal shootings.
Giuliani did say during Sunday's interview, however, that de Blasio should not be blamed for the deaths of Liu and Ramos:
The mayor of the city of New York should not be blamed for the murder of those police officers. That issue should not have been injected. It's wrong. I told the mayor that yesterday. And I don't support that.
Image: CBS News/Screenshot; Getty Images (2)