NYPD Chief Urges Cops Not to Turn Backs on Mayor at Funeral

New York Police Commissioner William Bratton
Andrew Burton/Getty Images
New York Police Commissioner William Bratton
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

At Saturday’s wake for the second of two New York City police officers killed in a surprise attack last month by a lone gunman, Police Commissioner William Bratton is urging officers to refrain from making political statements aimed at the mayor, the Associated Press reports.


“A hero’s funeral is about grieving, not grievance,” Bratton says in a memo to be read to all commands at roll calls Saturday, the day Officer Wenjian Liu will be remembered at a wake in Brooklyn, AP writes. His funeral is scheduled for Sunday with a Chinese ceremony led by Buddhist monks, to be followed by a traditional police ceremony with eulogies led by a chaplain, AP says.

“I issue no mandates, and I make no threats of discipline, but I remind you that when you don the uniform of this department, you are bound by the tradition, honor and decency that go with it,” Bratton continued, the news outlet says.

The commissioner’s comments come after hundreds of officers turned their backs to TV monitors showing Mayor Bill de Blasio a week ago as he spoke at the funeral for the other slain officer, Rafael Ramos. Police-union officials have been roundly criticized for also turning their backs on the mayor as he entered a hospital two weeks ago after the officers were killed by an African-American gunman with a history of mental illness who had announced on social media that he was going to put “wings on pigs.”

Officers accuse de Blasio of fostering anti-police sentiment by supporting demonstrations that arose last month after a grand jury cleared a white officer in the July choke hold death of Eric Garner, 43, an unarmed black man, in the New York City borough of Staten Island.

Read more at the Associated Press.