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NY Politics
NYC Mayor, Police Unions Postpone Debate
From the Wall Street Journal of Mon, 22 Dec 2014 17:29:39 EST
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called for “political debate” and protests to end until after the funerals of two police officers who were fatally shot on Saturday.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city’s largest police union came to a detente on Monday, vowing to end their strife until after two officers fatally shot last weekend were laid to rest.

The tacit agreement came after an extraordinary two days during which police union officials laid partial blame for the deaths of Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu at the mayor’s office.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks on Monday during a Police Athletic League Luncheon in Manhattan.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks on Monday during a Police Athletic League Luncheon in Manhattan. Kevin Hagen for The Wall Street Journal

Police Commissioner William Bratton said a viewing for Officer Ramos would take place Friday from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Christ Tabernacle Church at 64-34 Myrtle Ave. in New York’s Queens borough. His funeral would then be held on Saturday, with further details to be released shortly, Mr. Bratton said.

Arrangements were being made to assist family members of Officer Liu with passports and other necessary documents to enable them to travel to the U.S. from China so his funeral could take place.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks with NYPD Det. Patrick Blanc during a Police Athletic League luncheon in Manhattan.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks with NYPD Det. Patrick Blanc during a Police Athletic League luncheon in Manhattan. Kevin Hagen for The Wall Street Journal

Mr. de Blasio also called for protests to end until after the funerals, but some demonstrators said they planned to keep marching. The mayor had been largely supportive of protests that had shut down the city and resulted in some police injuries after grand juries declined to indict officers involved in the deaths of Eric Garner in New York and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

Authorities said the officers’ assailant, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, allegedly wrote online about killing the officers in retaliation for the deaths of Mr. Garner on Staten Island and Mr. Brown in Ferguson, Mo., during confrontations with police this summer.

After going a day without commenting, Mr. de Blasio on Monday called for an end to “political debate” and protests until after the funerals. Mr. de Blasio said the city’s focus should now shift to the grieving families of Officers Ramos and Liu.

“Our first obligation is to respect these families in mourning,” Mr. de Blasio said Monday during a lunchtime speech after visiting with the families of the two slain officers. “It’s time for everyone to put aside political debates, put aside protests, put aside all of the things that we will talk about in due time.”

“Let’s see them through the funerals,” the mayor said, “then debate can begin again.”

A spokesman for the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association said the union plans to be “silent out of respect for the families of the fallen officers until after the funerals.”

The funerals hadn’t been scheduled as of Monday afternoon.

While Mr. de Blasio has praised police officers, he has angered many rank-and-file members with a 2013 election campaign on overhauling police tactics and statements seen as anti-law-enforcement. For instance he has said minority children—including his own biracial son—should take care when encountering police officers.

On Monday, Mr. de Blasio called the shootings of Officers Liu and Ramos “an attack on all of us. It was an attack on our democracy. It was an attack on our values. It was an attack on every single New Yorker, and we have to see it as such.”

The mayor was speaking at a luncheon for the Police Athletic League, a nonprofit, for the first time following a news conference Saturday night in which officers turned their backs on Mr. de Blasio in a vivid of display of the rift between the mayor and rank-and-file officers.

The mayor reiterated his call that protesters should turn in anyone involved in a demonstration who is engaging in violence or destroying property. “The protesters should join with the police in solidarity to keep the peace and uphold the values of our democracy,” he said.

Mr. de Blasio urged the public to respect all members of the Police Department who are mourning the officers’ deaths. He said the public should thank and console officers on the street “because it is personal for them.”

“We as citizens have an obligation to join in protecting our police just as they protect us,” he said.

“We will find the way to come together,” Mr. de Blasio said.

Write to Michael Howard Saul at and Pervaiz Shallwani at

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