New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has asked protesters to hold off on demonstrations until the families of murdered police officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu have time to mourn. “I would ask any organizations that are planning any events about politics or protests, let’s do that another day,” the mayor said Monday at the Police Athletic League December luncheon. De Blasio denounced Saturday’s murder as an affront to the city. “The attack on them was an attack on all of us. It was an attack on every single New Yorker. We have to see it as such,” he said. Over the weekend, the head of the New York police union accused De Blasio of having blood on his hands and claimed the mayor incited violence against cops.
Later in the day, de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton held a joint press conference to address the investigation and public divisions. “I have throughout my public life expressed tremendous respect for the NYPD...and will continue to,” de Blasio said. “We are working towards a day when there’s greater harmony between police and community. It’s achievable and must be achieved.” Of the union leader’s comment he said: “I’ll simply say I think what he said was a mistake and was wrong.”
Bratton said he spoke to the presidents of the city’s five police unions and they have agreed to cease all finger pointing until after the funerals of the two policemen, heeding the mayor’s request. “I think the focus has to be on our murdered officers and their families to be sure we honor them,” Bratton said. The commissioner added that the shooter acted alone and the police have already been receiving copycat threats.