NEW YORK (TheBlaze/AP) -- An airplane hauling a banner insulting New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has been spotted flying above New York City.
The banner Friday -- as seen below -- read: "De Blasio, our backs have turned to you."
The message evoked behavior by some NYPD officers and police union leaders last week who turned their backs to the mayor at a hospital after two officers were fatally shot.
The officers' deaths followed protests around the country over the deaths of black men at the hands of white officers, and New York police unions have blamed de Blasio for allowing protests they say foster an anti-police sentiment.
Former officer-turned-activist John Cardillo said Friday that retired and current officers paid to have the banner flown. He tweeted that "coalition of NYPD cops, Detectives, and supervisors" contacted his and requested he publish their statement:
As a large and unified group of current and retired NYC Police Officers, Detectives, & Supervisors, we are outraged by the mayor’s incendiary rhetoric, and for facilitating the current hostile climate towards the NYPD. We understand that the department and even our own unions can only go so far in their public condemnation of the mayor as to not irreparably damage the working relationship with the city, or future contract negotiations.
It is our opinion that Mayor de Blasio’s dangerous and irresponsible comments about his and his wife’s concern for their son’s safety at the hands of the NYPD fueled the flames that led to civil unrest, and potentially to the deaths of PO Wenjian Liu and PO Rafael Ramos, as well as the continued threats against NYPD personnel. The Mayor shows us no respect, and encourages the public to follow his lead.
Mayor de Blasio clearly doesn’t understand nor care that every man and woman of the NYPD would give their life to protect his son, his family, and every other resident of New York City. Tragically, two of our Finest made that ultimate sacrifice days before Christmas.
We no longer have confidence in Mayor de Blasio, nor in his ability to lead New York City and promote the values that both the NYPD and the good law abiding citizens of the city hold dear. Mayor de Blasio turned his back on us long before we turned our backs on him.
A de Blasio spokesman called the banner divisive.