Police Turn Their Backs On Mayor DeBlasio

Hundreds of New York City police officers made a statement at the funeral of officer Ramos yesterday.  As Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke, many decided to turn their backs in protest. In spite of calls from officials ranging from the Brooklyn borough president to the Mayor himself to put a pause on the anti-police brutality protests, the police took it upon themselves to have their own show of discontent.

Following the incendiary rhetoric of war coming from Pat Lynch, this latest action shows total disregard for the mayor and the civilian authority which he represents.  It’s almost as if the police are in charge and the mayor answers to them. Is it Mayor de Blasio’s New York, or is it Bratton time? If this occurred in another country, it would be regarded as the move of a police state.

Let’s take a look at another past incident of the actions of city employees who stood in contrast to a sitting mayor. For this writer, the three day strike of transit workers back in 2005 comes to mind. The TWU was excoriated by the media in print, radio and television- and labeled as “thugs” by Mayor Bloomberg who turned their back on the city. Fairly sharp contrast, isn’t it?

The comparison needs to be made for the purpose of understanding what some would regard as an old question. Are the police part of the working class? There are sides of the argument about the role of the police that deem them as an “occupying army”.  There is a world of difference in the outpouring of support. JetBlue flew 700 officers to yesterday’s funeral free of charge. Were there any such overtures towards the families of Eric Garner or Akai Gurley?

Today is the third day of Kwanzaa.  Today’s principle is Ujima, which means collective work and responsibility.  I choose to use this post to encourage us to collectively remember history, and use it as a way to understand today’s struggles. It is my responsibility as a Black writer to do these things.  I now leave it to you to comment.


  1. What I fail to understand is why many members of the NYPD have criticized DeBlasio for sharing with the public the fatherly advice he has given to his biracial son Dante when dealing with police. DeBlasio is like any man in that he is a father. How many of us had the “talk” with our own children or have had the “talk” with our parents about black people and the police? Is this man not expected to be a father as his priority duty and obligation? Then for the NYPD to use the funeral of one “of their own” to send a message to the mayor was sickeningly foul. It was not the time or place as they were all there supposedly to support the Ramos family. Its a classic example of their lack of basic respect for anybody or anything that challenges or does not adhere to in exact terms all things “Blue”. As for Kwanzaa, well, we have always had many issues to reflect upon as African centered people. Bad relations with racist, trigger happy policemen is nothing new. At this time we must continue to rely on our faith, ourselves and each other for hope, healing and unity. We are all we have, beyond Kwanzaa.

  2. The acts in which the police turned their back on the mayor shows a deep rooted lack of respect. I wonder if they would have done that if the officer was white in the coffin? Did the union president go to the homes of these officers or their funerals? I didn’t see any evidence of this. If he didn’t then the officers of color need to look at who he is really representing. I remember when Dinkins was running for office, he lead police officers to demonstrate against Dinkins. The signs that the police held up were racist.

    The police department needs an over hull from the top to the bottom. Starting with the union president and Bratton get someone who can control the police. Until we get an independent review board outside of the city department i.e. federal agency to investigate and prosecute wrongful death, accidents these murders will continue to happen

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