New York Daily News

Updated: January 4, 2015, 9:53 PM

  

 

Cops turn backs on Mayor de Blasio during eulogy for NYPD Officer Wenjian Liu

 

The NYPD was not united in the silent protest that flouted an order from Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, who said Liu’s funeral is 'about grieving, not grievance.' Many cops who turned their backs only ended up nose-to-nose with colleagues who opted not to participate.

BY EDGAR SANDOVAL, ELI ROSENBERG, STEPHEN REX BROWN

DEBBIE EGAN-CHIN / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Pei Xia Chen bids a tearful farewell and is given the flag at the funeral of her husband NYPD cop Wenjian Liu in Bensonhurst. See more photos at the end of this article.

Hundreds of cops turned their backs on Mayor de Blasio yet again Sunday as he delivered a eulogy for a fallen officer, flouting a request from Police Commissioner Bill Bratton.

While de Blasio hailed the life and legacy of Officer Wenjian Liu, 32, at Aievoli Funeral Home in Brooklyn, scores of cops outside turned away from a large video feed of his remarks.

The majority participating in the silent protest wore NYPD uniforms.

“(De Blasio) doesn’t have our backs. More of us should have done it,” one cop said, refusing to give his name.

Watch the Daily News Photo Gallery of the wake and funeral of P.O. Wenjian Liu.

The move amounted to a stunning act of insubordination. On Friday, Bratton sent a message to all officers under his command, asking they keep politics out of the funeral.

“A hero’s funeral is about grieving, not grievance,” Bratton said.

Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association head Patrick Lynch defended the protest as appropriate, since it took place outside the Bensonhurst funeral home.

“This was an organic gesture that started on the streets of New York, and it should be respected,” he said.

But the NYPD was not united in protest.

Many cops turned their backs, only to end up nose-to-nose with colleagues who opted not to participate.

One high-ranking police source said that he got grief from fellow officers for not joining the overtly political act during de Blasio’s speech.

Asked why he didn’t join, the source replied, “’Cause I was here for Liu and his family — not the mayor. I don’t like the mayor or what he stands for, but I agree with Bratton that it’s not the place.”

A transit detective who described himself as a de Blasio supporter said he’d recently gotten into debates with colleagues about the political issues roiling the NYPD.

Sunday’s blatant show of disrespect was the third time cops have turned their backs on de Blasio.

The first came at Woodhull Hospital shortly after crazed gunman Ismaaiyl Brinsley executed Liu and his partner, Rafael Ramos, on Dec. 20.

Lynch said after the horrific attack that the mayor had “blood on the hands” because he had failed to denounce demonstrators protesting police brutality after a grand jury declined to indict an NYPD cop in the chokehold death of Eric Garner.

His inaction created an atmosphere where anti-cop sentiment can flourish, Lynch said.

At Ramos’ funeral on Dec. 27, police again turned their backs on a large screen broadcasting de Blasio’s speech.

And just last week, de Blasio was booed during an NYPD graduation ceremony at Madison Square Garden.

Retired NYPD Detective John Scotto of Staten Island was among those who turned their backs when de Blasio spoke Sunday.

“The mayor used a national forum to create open season on law enforcement and divide the city,” he said.

Another retired NYPD officer who would only give his name as Nick, 58, agreed.

“The mayor is not on our side. This is like the ’70s, when cops were getting killed. We are going backward,” he said.

De Blasio spokesman Phil Walzak did not directly address the latest protest.

“Today we honor the legacies of Detectives Liu and Ramos, and remember their dedication to serving the people of New York City. Our city and this administration is focused on doing everything possible to support the grieving families of our fallen heroes,” Walzak said.

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images
NYPD officers carry the casket of their fellow officer Wenjian Liu during his funeral on Sunday.
Todd Maisel / New York Daily News
NYPD officers carry the casket of their fellow officer Wenjian Liu during his funeral on Sunday.

SHANNON STAPLETON/REUTERS

Law enforcement officers stand, with some turning their backs, as Mayor de Blasio speaks on a monitor outside the funeral for NYPD officer Wenjian Liu.
JAMES KEIVOM/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Thousands of police officers lined 65th Street at the funeral of Officer Liu.
JAMES KEIVOM/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
A sea of blue stood in the drizzling rain for the funeral of Officer Liu.
PETER FOLEY/EPA
NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton arrives for the funeral of Officer Liu.
PETER FOLEY/EPA
Cops from California arrive for the funeral.