It took the execution of two cops for Mayor Bill de Blasio to finally denounce violent rhetoric against the NYPD and urge New Yorkers to “call 911” if they suspect someone is planning to attack an officer.
De Blasio spent weeks defending the First Amendment rights of protesters who compared the NYPD to the KKK and were videotaped chanting, “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!” – see video.
“I just want to emphasize that the simplest thing any New Yorker can do is call 911,” de Blasio said at a news conference at Police Headquarters.
“If you hear someone make a physical threat against a police officer, if you see something on social media that is a threat against a police officer, call 911 immediately.”
“We would much rather get too much information than too little,” the mayor added.
He also called for a moratorium on anti-police protests until after the cops’ funerals.
- NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton blamed the protests for the murders of Ramos and Liu, telling NBC’s “Today” show that “it’s quite apparent, quite obvious that the targeting of these two police officers was a direct spinoff of this issue of these demonstrations.” He also conceded the mayor had lost the trust of some cops.
- Chief of Department James O’Neill ordered all uniformed cops to work only in pairs — and not even get meals or take breaks on their own. O’Neill’s “Finest message” also urged cops to “maintain a heightened level of awareness” and “approach all situations tactically.” Cadets at the Police Academy were told not to wear their uniforms or any NYPD paraphernalia in public. “It will make us safer,” one cadet said.
- Scores of cops lined the street and saluted as a hearse carrying Liu’s body left Bellevue Hospital en route to the Aievoli Funeral Home in Brooklyn, where many more officers saluted upon its arrival.
- One of the city’s leading black ministers, the Rev. Calvin Butts, said de Blasio should apologize for not supporting the NYPD. “The mayor needs to say, ‘I know you guys are working hard . . . If I did or said anything that made you believe I was not with you, I firmly apologize,’ ” the pastor of Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church told The Post.
- De Blasio said he “absolutely” planned to attend the funerals of Ramos and Liu, despite efforts by the police union to keep him and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito from services for cops killed in the line of duty.
- The NYPD revealed that killer Ismaaiyl Brinsley attended an anti-cop rally in Union Square on Dec. 1 and recorded video of it on his phone. Authorities also appealed for the public’s help in tracing Brinsley’s steps during the 2½ hours leading to the cops’ murders.
- Liu’s widow tearfully thanked the “entire New York City community” for supporting his family, while Ramos’ family prepared to bury him Saturday after a ceremony expected to draw cops from across the country. Arrangements for Liu’s funeral were on hold pending the arrival of relatives from China.
Despite his newly professed desire to protect cops, de Blasio got into a red-faced exchange with one reporter who asked whether he would be “comfortable” if his own kids chanted that the NYPD is “racist.”
De Blasio insisted, “No, of course not,” then shifted blame to the media.
“What are you guys going to do? Are you going to keep dividing us? I’m not talking about every single one of you, but let’s get real,” he fumed.
De Blasio maintained that a massive Dec. 13 protest was “absolutely peaceful, no chants like that” — even though a viral YouTube video caught protesters marching through Murray Hill calling for the deaths of cops.
And the mayor — who had never previously denounced the anti-cop rhetoric — also accused the media of selectively reporting on the violent language.
“What you manage to do is pull up the few who do not represent the majority, who are saying unacceptable things, who shouldn’t be saying those things,” he said.
Additional reporting by Kyle Schnitzer
Race is now a conduit for a revolution!