New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) claims that he never spoke negatively about the NYPD and did not help create an environment that pushed an anti-cop gunman to execute officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos.
“I didn’t talk negatively about the men and women of the police force,” de Blasio told Fusion’s Jorge Ramos this week. “I did talk about a history where some things have to be done better, where there has to be a better approach to minimizing the violence in our communities, to minimizing the level of force used in the police response, to finding a way to create a different dialogue between the police and the community. That’s what we’re focusing on with the retraining. It’s a positive exercise. It says, there’s things we can do better, and we’re going to show our officers a way to move forward.”
De Blasio is trying to convince Democrats to host their 2016 convention in Brooklyn, and he realizes that the party may award Columbus, Ohio the convention because of the mayor’s feud with the NYPD. As Breitbart News noted:
Democrats may worry that a convention in New York could turn off Americans like their 1968 convention in Chicago. Richard Nixon’s 1968 presidential win was arguably assured when riots broke out during the convention in Chicago. The national audience that saw the breakdown in law and order started to associate Democrats in general with being on the wrong side of law-and-order issues. That label stuck to the party and helped Republicans win elections across the country for a generation.
De Blasio also said it “wasn’t fair” that NYPD officers turned their backs on him during Liu’s and Ramos’s funerals.
“I understand people were hurting. They had lost two brother officers,” he said. “It was a very painful time. But it wasn’t appropriate to do political protest in the context of a funeral. The bottom line is, we have real issues we have to work on in the relationship between police and community. We’ve got to bring them closer together.”
In response to Ramos’s question about whether his comments had “created an environment in which two cops were killed,” de Blasio responded, “absolutely not.”
“That killer was obviously a very, very troubled individual with a long criminal history, who had literally shot his own girlfriend in another city the same morning,” he said. “It was a horrible tragedy, and a very troubled individual who did that horrible crime.”
But even Fusion had to concede that in September of last year, de Blasio, in referring to the NYPD, said that “there is no question something is wrong and that we need to do better.” He told Ramos after Eric Garner’s death last year that New York plans to “retrain literally our entire police force to emphasize how officers should comport themselves with the community and what’s allowable and not allowable.”
De Blasio also spoke publicly about how he has warned his half-black son to be careful when interacting with cops. But his actions, more than anything, spoke much louder than words. De Blasio never condemned the protests that shut down bridges in which demonstrators were yelling “we want dead cops now.” And he met with anti-police agitators who were fanning the flames like Al Sharpton instead of with police leaders.