Hours before the wake for slain NYPD officer Rafael Ramos, a small plane flew over NYC with a banner reading "De Blasio, Our Backs Have Turned to You."
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) December 26, 2014
It's unclear who paid for the message, but John Cardillo, a blogger and former NYPD cop, says he was contacted by a "coalition of NYPD cops, Detectives, and supervisors" and asked to release this 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."
The NYPD's biggest police union, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, has declined to comment on the banner. Earlier this week, Mayor de Blasio said the police unions had agreed to pause their attacks on the administration until after the funerals for Officer Ramos and Officer Wenjian Liu.
De Blasio, like every NYC mayor in recent history, has been excoriated by police union leaders, but the rhetoric grew particularly vitriolic after the officers were executed in Bed-Stuy on Saturday. PBA president Pat Lynch immediately said City Hall had blood on its hands, and a group of officers turned their backs on de Blasio when he arrived at the hospital where Ramos and Liu were pronounced dead.
The leaders of the police unions and some rank-and-file officers were angered by de Blasio's comments in the wake of the Eric Garner grand jury decision. At a press conference following the announcement that the jury would not indict an officer who put Garner in a chokehold during his fatal arrest, de Blasio recalled how he's told his son Dante to be careful when interacting with police. His subsequent support for the protests which swept the city also upset police union leaders.
Officer Ramos's funeral will be held on Saturday. De Blasio is expected to attend, as is Vice President Joe Biden. (Liu’s funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.)