After scores of New York City police turned their backs to Mayor Bill de Blasio as he spoke Saturday at the memorial service for fallen Officer Rafael Ramos, a CNN reporter asked the head of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association if that action was OK with him.
"The feeling is real," Patrick Lynch replied. "But today is about mourning, tomorrow is about debate."
But Miguel Marquez pressed, "What would you tell those police officers?"
“We have to understand the betrayal that they feel," Lynch replied. "But today we also come to bow our heads in mourning and tomorrow we'll debate." Lynch then walked out of camera view.
After the fatal, ambush-style shootings of Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu last Saturday, Lynch and many NYPD officers have been critical of de Blasio.
“There’s blood on many hands tonight — those that incited violence on the street under the guise of protest that try to tear down what New York City police officers did every day,” Lynch said in front of cameras last Saturday after the officers were murdered, adding that “blood on the hands starts on the steps of city hall in the office of the mayor” for a “cold-blooded assassination like we haven’t seen before.”
Last Saturday police appeared to turn their backs on de Blasio as he made his way to a press conference about the fatal shootings of Ramos and Liu.
Lynch has been feuding with de Blasio over treatment of officers since a grand jury decided to not indict a New York City officer over the death of Eric Garner, who was in a chokehold while being arrested. In a press conference about the grand jury non-indictment, de Blasio said he had warned his 17-year-old, mixed-race son, Dante, to be careful around police officers, the New York Post reported.