Tension between Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Police Department appeared to reach a new high Friday.
A plane towing a banner which read "DE BLASIO, OUR BACKS HAVE TURNED TO YOU," flew above the Hudson River and along the west side of Manhattan, a reference to how some police officers literally turned their backs to de Blasio when he visited the hospital officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were treated after they were shot last week in Brooklyn.
On Friday, former police officer John Cardillo posted a statement on his blog, which he said was from a "coalition of NYPD cops, Detectives, and supervisors hundreds strong."
"As a large and unified group of current and retired NYC Police Officers, Detectives, & Supervisors, we are outraged by the mayor's incendiary rhetoric, and for facilitating the current hostile climate towards the NYPD. We understand that the department and even our own union can only go so far in their public condemnation of the mayor as to not irreparably damage the working relationship with the city, or future contract negotiations," the statement reads.
Ashley Chalmers, head of Jersey Shore Aerial Advertising, told the Daily News the people who paid for the message "want to remain anonymous."
While the feud between the New York City mayor's office and the New York City Police Department goes back years, tensions grew over the past few weeks amid protests following a grand jury's decision not to indict an officer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner.
The statement posted by Cardillo on Friday called de Blasio's comments about warning his son, who is black, about interacting with police, "dangerous and irresponsible."
After a grand jury decided to not indict the officer in Garner's death, de Blasio said, "Chirlane [McCray, de Blasio's wife] and I have had to talk to Dante for years, about the dangers he may face. We've had to literally train him, as families have all over this city for decades, in how to take special care in any encounter he has with the police officers who are there to protect him."
The statement says the mayor "fueled the flames that led to civil unrest, and potentially to the deaths" of officers Liu and Ramos.
"The mayor shows us no respect, and encourages the public to follow his lead," the statement says. Mayor deBlasio clearly doesn't understand nor care that every man and woman of the NYPD would give their life to protect his son, his family, and every other resident of New York City. Tragically, two of our Finest made that ultimate sacrifice days before Christmas."
The statement concludes by saying the officers have lost confidence in de Blasio and his ability to lead New York City and "promote the values that both the NYPD and the good law abiding citizens of the city hold dear."
Mary Ann Georgantopoulos is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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