NEW YORK (AFP) – New York police chief Bill Bratton urged officers not to protest against the city’s beleaguered mayor at a funeral for a slain cop as a seemingly uneventful wake for the murdered patrolman took place Saturday.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has faced a firestorm of criticism from New York police in the wake of the shooting of Wenjian Liu, 32, and his partner Rafael Ramos on December 20.
Hundreds of police officers pointedly turned their backs in a protest against de Blasio during a funeral for Ramos last week, prompting Bratton to press his force to avoid a repeat of those scenes at Liu’s funeral on Sunday.
De Blasio made a low-key appearance at a wake held for Liu in Brooklyn, leaving shortly after his arrival without speaking to reporters. Journalists were not given access to the wake.
Images of de Blasio entering the Aievoli Funeral Home appeared to show officers saluting as the New York mayor passed up steps into the building.
Liu and Ramos were shot dead by a gunman who claimed to be acting in revenge for the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police.
Thousands are expected to turn out for Liu’s funeral on Sunday, with high-level guests to include de Blasio and FBI Director James Comey.