In an effort to prevent New York City from devolving into an even more bitterly polarized screamopolis, Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Bratton have asked the same thing of the police unions as they have of the civil rights protesters: hold off for awhile. "In discussions with the five presidents of our various unions, they're also, if you will, standing down in respect for our fallen members until after the funerals," Bratton told reporters at 1 Police Plaza yesterday. "And then we can continue the dialogue about issues and differences that exist."
Asked about the purported police union memo that urged officers to stop making arrests and issuing summonses, Bratton replied, "Nobody has owned up to those messages. You find that delegate that, basically, was going to stand up say that he sent that message...That type of social media mongering, if you will, it has had no impact on the delivery of services by our cops."
As for PBA president Pat Lynch's unbridled disgust leveled at Mayor de Blasio, the commissioner pointed to a pattern.
"Can you point out to me, one mayor who hasn't been battling with the police unions in last 50 years? Name one. Name one. There's nothing new, it's part of life, it's part of politics," he said. "Do some officers not like this mayor? Guarantee you. Do some officers not like me? Amazingly some don't, I can't quite understand that, but some don't."
One reporter asked de Blasio if he would feel comfortable with his children chanting "NYPD KKK," and other distasteful things that are screamed by demonstrators whenever tens of thousands or just dozens are present.
"No, of course not," the mayor replied, before delivering a lecture about what he sees as the media's responsibility. It's worth quoting at length:
We've talked about this so many times. I'm going to talk about it again. And now the question is, what are you guys going to do? 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. Just in that question - 25,000 people marched down one of our streets a few days back, absolutely peaceful, no chants like that, peacefully calling for what they believed in as American citizens, and the NYPD protected them….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, and they - some who actually physically attack police officers, which I've said is absolutely unacceptable.
So, yes, there are some bad people who say inappropriate things. There are some people who say hateful things. They have no place in these protests. They are not what I'm talking about. I am talking about - excuse me - I am talking about the vast majority of New Yorkers, like the vast majority of Americans, who believe in peaceful democratic process….That's how you want to portray the world, but we know a different reality. There are some people who do that. It's wrong. It's wrong. They shouldn't do that. It's immoral, it's wrong, it's nasty, it's negative - they should not do that, but they, my friend, are not the majority. Stop portraying them as the majority.
The mayor is wrong to say that profane things weren't chanted during last week's Millions March, but he is correct in saying that those protesters were not part of the majority.
How would anyone get the idea that the majority of the protesters have been tainted by violent anarchists who wish grave harm on police officers?
That narrative had been not-so-subtly pushed by the police department in the very same room where the mayor was now excoriating the media for delivering the message. And earlier in the day, Commissioner Bratton sought to connect the protest movement with Saturday's broad-daylight murder of two police officers, telling the Today Show, "It is quite apparent, quite obvious, that the targeting of these two police officers was a direct spinoff of this issue of these demonstration."
Meanwhile, the police are still trying to determine who Ismaaiyl Brinsley spoke with and what he did in the final hours of his life before fatally shooting Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos in their squad car. Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said that there are "thousands" of images on one of Brinsley's phones, including a video he took of a protest in Union Square on December 3rd.
"He was not participating in it; he was just taking a picture of it," Boyce said.
Video surveillance shows Brinsley inside Atlantic Mall holding a bag that police say they believe contained the weapon he used in the murders.
Brinsley is believed to have been in Fort Greene or Bed-Stuy in the hours before the attack. Anyone with any information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers.