Hundreds of police officers turned their backs on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio as he delivered the eulogy for slain NYPD Officer Miosotis Familia on Tuesday. The officers, enraged by de Blasio’s trip to Germany last week in the immediate wake of Familia’s assassination, played with their cell phones and chatted amongst each other while the mayor’s speech was broadcast on the speakers outside the funeral.
This was not the first time NYPD officers engaged in a public protest against the mayor. In 2015, after a similar cop-shooting involving the late Wenjian Liu, police officers also turned their backs on de Blasio after the NYPD’s main police union accused him of unfairly painting the department with the brush of racial profiling.
This time around, the same groups, including the Sergeants Union, had much the same criticism. In an interview with an NYC radio station on Monday, union prez Ed Mullins said, “Assassinations are very difficult to stop but what we can do to make a difference is kill the atmosphere that has been created across this country and in the city of New York. We have a very anti-police atmosphere that is based on inaccurate facts and lies. We’re not seeing any kind of leadership that comes out and explains that the police are not your enemy.”
A spokesman for the mayor’s office said that de Blasio’s political opponents were taking advantage of a tragedy to demonstrate against him.
“A couple dozen people showed up to partake in a bogus controversy ginned up by the media and those looking to politicize Detective Familia’s death. That’s unfortunate,” said Austin Finan in an email to The New York Post. “The mayor, police commissioner and thousands of police officers from the city and beyond attended today’s service in solidarity to pay their respects and honor Miosotis Familia.”
Be that as it may, criticism of the mayor’s trip to Germany last week has spread well beyond “a couple dozen people.” Even without the specter of Officer Familia’s tragic death, many are wondering why de Blasio felt it necessary to go overseas in the first place, and why the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board gave him to go ahead to do so on the taxpayer dime.
According to the Board, though, the trip was important for the city.
From the NY Post:
The city Conflicts of Interest Board gave Mayor de Blasio the green light for a free trip to Germany because it achieved a “city purpose” — of opposing President Trump, a spokesman said Monday.
An email from the conflicts board’s lawyer, sent at 10 p.m. Friday — more than a day after de Blasio flew to Germany — said the board approved his itinerary based on a rule that allows acceptance of travel-related gifts if “the trip is for a city purpose and therefore could properly be paid for with city funds.”
Asked what city purpose was achieved by de Blasio giving the keynote speech at a G20 protest rally in Hamburg, spokesman Eric Phillips cited Hizzoner’s self-appointed role as a progressive foil to the president.
“He was representing New York City and our values, and providing an alternate American viewpoint to the deeply problematic vision of President Trump,” Phillips said.
Right, because that’s the job of the New York City mayor – to go provide alternate American viewpoints to our European allies. Get the hell out of here with that nonsense. This was an excuse for de Blasio to prop up his own political fortunes and quite likely set himself up for a run at higher office in the future. Not only should this stunt cost him the mayoral race, it should spark an investigation into the misuse of NYC taxpayer money.