Mayor Bill de Blasio did not get the best reception on Monday when he spoke at a graduation ceremony for newly initiated New York Police Department officers. In fact, he got booed.
Only a couple days after several police officers turned their backs to the mayor when he spoke at officer Rafael Ramos’ funeral, de Blasio got the cold shoulder once again.
“You didn’t create the social problems you will face,” de Blasio said during his speech, to which an audience member responded, “You did!”
While it is unclear if any new recruits joined in on the heckling, eyewitnesses reported that at least two members in the audience turned their backs to Mayor de Blasio.
Tensions between City Hall and the NYPD have been rising since the tragic killing of two NYPD officers in Brooklyn earlier this month. Leader of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association Pat Lynch went as far as saying that mayor Bill de Blasio had “blood on his hands.”
Mayor de Blasio, who has been under severe scrutiny for supporting the right for demonstrators to protest the recent deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York, emphasized safety during his speech.
“We, all of us - here on this stage - we have responsibility to you,” de Blasio told new recruits. “We have a responsibility to keep you safe.”
The mayor said the city will spend $400 million this year to increase safety for police officers. This will include smartphones and tablets that will allow officers to communicate with one another more efficiently.
“We will work everyday to deepen your relationship with the communities you serve, for the safety of all, for the betterment of all,” de Blasio continued. The mayor noted that crime went down 5% compared to last year, calling it an “achievement for the ages.”
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton also emphasized safety during his speech and reminisced to his earlier days with the Boston Police.
“I want to talk to you, cop to cop,” Bratton said. “I may have the civilian title of commissioner, but in my heart I will always be a cop.”