The Rev. Al Sharpton and members of Eric Garner’s family this afternoon visited the site where NYPD Detectives Rafael Ramon and Wenjian Liu were murdered, placing wreaths in their memory. Sharpton and the Garner family travelled from the National Action Network’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration in a bus caravan with a few hundred supporters. Sharpton spoke briefly before placing the wreaths:
Mayor Bill de Blasio joined Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and several senior NYPD officials at One Police Plaza today for a press conference touting remarkable crime statistics for 2014 and discussing the mayor’s troubled relationship with many in the NYPD. The mayor and commissioner began by proudly discussed the NYPD’s accomplishments in pushing crime numbers lower than the record-setting 2013.
The Q&A was quite lengthy, running almost 40 minutes. The Q&A included detailed discussion of the 2014 crime stats and a discussion of two specific cases: a Manhattan man allegedly shot by his adult son while in his Beekman Place apartment and the Manhattan DA’s decision to not charge Sandford Rubenstein in connection with an alleged rape. The mayor and police commissioner also addressed the mayor’s friction-filled relationship with the PBA and rank-and-file police officers and the recent episodes in which police officers turned their back on Mayor de Blasio at the funerals of murdered NYPD detectives Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.
An excerpt featuring Mayor de Blasio’s and Commissioner Bratton’s statements on police officers turning their back to the mayor is here.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton today addressed the widely reported actions of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of police officers who turned their backs when Mayor de Blasio spoke at the funerals of Detectives Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu. Speaking during a press conference at One Police Plaza de Blasio termed their actions “disrespectful to the families” of Ramos and Liu and “disrespectful to the people of this City.” Bratton’s reaction was harsher, condemning “a labor action being taken in the middle of a funeral” by officers who “embarrassed themselves.” He also condemned “the selfishness of that action” which “took so much attention” away from the slain detectives.