The New York Police Department has committed a disgraceful act of showmanship in the most inappropriate context imaginable.
It occurred during the funeral of one of its fallen comrades, Officer Rafael Ramos. And it happened when Mayor Bill de Blasio rose to speak in honor of the officer’s memory.
As the New York Times noted in a scathing — and spot on — editorial: “Mr. de Blasio isn’t going to say it, but somebody has to: With these acts of passive-aggressive contempt and self-pity, many New York police officers, led by their union, are squandering the department’s credibility, defacing its reputation, shredding its hard-earned respect. They have taken the most grave and solemn of civic moments — a funeral of a fallen colleague — and hijacked it for their own petty look-at-us gesture. In doing so, they also turned their backs on Mr. Ramos’s widow and her two young sons, and others in that grief-struck family.
“These are disgraceful acts, which will be compounded if anyone repeats the stunt at Officer Liu’s funeral on Sunday.”
The officers turned their backs on the mayor as he spoke about the officer’s heroism and his service to the city all of those officers have sworn to protect. He and Officer Wenjian Liu were gunned down the other day by someone angry over a Staten Island grand jury declining to indict an officer in the choking death of Eric Garner. The shooter then killed himself.
Why are the officers angry? They contend the mayor hasn’t done enough to protect the police department from this kind of senseless violence.
So, to make their point, they engage in a cheap stunt at a solemn event.
The mayor has stated every possible way he knows how that he supports the police department. He has spoken in honor of the officers who put their lives on the line every single day they go to work. He has heaped enormous praise on those who have fallen and has pledged his unwavering support for those who remain on duty.
This is the response he gets from the men and women of the NYPD?
The term “disgraceful” almost doesn’t seem adequate to describe what they have done not just to the mayor but to the families of the fallen officers.