Mayor Bill de Blasio was greeted by a wall of protesting police officers at a town hall meeting in Far Rockaway, Queens, tonight. The officers booed and shouted at him as he made his way through a back door to the venue.
The officers broke into a chant of "Backdoor Billy" as the town hall began inside a local public school.
The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, which represents the NYPD's rank-and-file officers, has been locked in a contract fight with the de Blasio administration for months. After reaching an impasse, the union and City Hall have moved into arbitration in hopes of hammering out a new contract, which the union says should include pay increases.
PBA Union President Pat Lynch said de Blasio has been unwilling to negotiate in good faith.
He also highlighted the discovery of explosive devices at CNN headquarters in Midtown this morning, saying that the lives of officers are constantly on the line.
"We are the ones that put our lives at risk and he's offering us zero raises, to give back our pension and take our health benefits," Lynch said. "That is an absolute disgrace."
The union has been staging protests in recent months. They have followed de Blasio to recent trips outside the city and showed up at the Brooklyn YMCA where he exercises.
Eric Phillips, a spokesperson for de Blasio, declined to comment on the protests.