At the Sunday funeral of New York Police Officer Wenjian Liu, hundreds of police officers spun around to show their backs to a screen carrying Mayor Bill de Blasio's eulogy for the slain officer at a Brooklyn funeral home.
The silent protest against de Blasio came after a Friday memo from New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton specifically asking officers to refrain from turning their backs on the mayor at Liu's funeral, as they had at the funeral of his partner, Officer Rafael Ramos. "A hero's funeral is about grieving, not grievance," Bratton wrote. Urged by their unions, NYPD officers have also sharply reduced their law enforcement duties to protest what they view as de Blasio's lack of support.
Bratton's memo "was really taken as an insult, that you almost don't have the right to express yourself," NYPD sergeant's union president Edward D. Mullins tells The New York Times. The clusters and individual cops who turned their backs were not only rank-and-file NYPD officers, but also retirees and police from out of town. You can watch their attention-grabbing protest in the video below. --Peter Weber
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.