Dozens of police officers turned their backs on Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday morning, as he began his eulogy for slain police officer Miosotis Familia at a funeral service in the Bronx.
Thousands of officers from around the country and the world lined the streets along Grand Concourse on 187th Street in the Bronx, and it was not clear whether the officers who protested de Blasio were part of the NYPD or represented other departments.
Police union officials have been sharply critical of de Blasio for taking a foreign trip to Germany in the days between Familia’s killing last week, while on duty in the Bronx, and her funeral service on Tuesday morning.
De Blasio has said that he only committed to the foreign trip, during which he protested President Donald Trump at the G-20 summit in Hamburg, after he learned that he would not miss Familia’s funeral.
But police union leaders have used the trip to criticize the mayor, who has had a contentious relationship with some in the rank-and-file since he ran on a platform of sweeping reforms to the department during his mayoral campaign in 2013.
Ed Mullins, president of the NYPD’s sergeants union, said over the weekend that de Blasio had failed to show “any kind of leadership,” and Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association president Pat Lynch said Monday that de Blasio’s “compass” had failed him by directing him to Germany so soon after Familia’s murder.
The scene on Tuesday was reminiscent — if not as pronounced — as the protest at a funeral held for police officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, who were ambushed and killed while sitting in a patrol car in Brooklyn in 2014, during de Blasio’s first year in office.
During that funeral, de Blasio was greeted by protesting officers who turned their backs en masse as he spoke. Earlier, police union leaders had led officers in turning their backs on de Blasio when he visited the injured officers at a hospital in Brooklyn.