Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani in Sunday TV appearances advised sitting Mayor Bill de Blasio to apologize to the NYPD as a step toward easing tensions with the police.
“Mayor de Blasio, please say you’re sorry to them for having creating a false impression of them,” Giuliani said, issuing a direct appeal on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
“I don’t know that he wanted to do it — he probably didn’t — but he created an impression with the police that he was on the side of the protesters,” Giuliani added. “Some of those protesters were entirely legitimate, but some of those protesters were horrible . . .”
In response to Giuliani’s suggestion, a de Blasio spokesman pointed to statements of support by NYPD Commissioner William J. Bratton in separate TV interviews Sunday. Bratton on “Face the Nation” defended the mayor as “totally supportive” of officers.
De Blasio’s relations with the NYPD have been strained by the fatal shootings Dec. 20 of Officers Rafael Ramos and Weijian Liu in Brooklyn. The assassinations ended a rampage that started when the gunman Ismaaiyl Brinsley shot and wounded his girlfriend in Maryland and posted anti-police sentiments in social media. He killed himself in a nearby subway station after fatally shooting Ramos and Liu.
Hundreds of police officers at Ramos’ funeral Saturday in Queens turned their backs to de Blasio as he delivered the eulogy.
Giuliani, a Republican, defended de Blasio, a Democrat, in that instance, saying he believes the mayor’s heart is broken over the cops’ deaths.
“The mayor of the City of New York should not be blamed for the murder of those police officers,” Giuliani said. “The mayor is not in any way to be treated with people turning their backs. It doesn’t matter whether you like the mayor or you don’t like the mayor, you have to respect the mayor’s position.”
Giuliani repeated his message in an Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” interview: “He should have apologized — not for the murder; he’s not responsible for the murder and he shouldn’t resign . . . but he did create an atmosphere of anti-police bias and feelings for a long, long time.”
Dozens of cops had also turned their backs when de Blasio last weekend to the Brooklyn hospital where Ramos and Liu had been taken.
Bratton denounced his officers’ protest on “Face the Nation” interview, calling it “inappropriate.”
“I certainly don’t support that action yesterday [Saturday], I think it was very inappropriate at that event,” he said.
On “Face the Nation” and on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Bratton referenced expired contracts for police officers with the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association and the Sergeants Benevolent Association as a point of tension.
Asked about the defiant show by police at the funeral, mayoral spokesman Wiley Norvell said on Saturday, “Our sole focus is unifying this city and honoring the lives of our two police officers.”
The PBA in a statement released Sunday morning thanked their supporters for “acts of kindness” and “donations.”
“Those of us who wear the blue of the NYPD have experienced love, support and respect in many forms from people from all over the nation, but none means more to us than the slight smile and nod of the head we have been receiving from New Yorkers as we patrol our city’s streets doing the job we love,” PBA president Patrick Lynch said.