For the second time, police turned their backs on Mayor Bill de Blasio at the funeral of one of two New York City officers murdered by a man authorities say was motivated by racial unrest.
De Blasio was eulogizing Wenjian Liu when thousands of cops watching on a screen outside the Aievoli Funeral Home in Dyker Heights turned around, according to the Associated Press. FBI director James Comey also attended.
“Detective Wenjian Liu was a good man. He walked a path of courage, a path of sacrifice, a path of kindness,” de Blasio told mourners, according to the New York Post. “This is who he was.”
Liu, 32, and his partner Rafael Ramos were killed in Brooklyn while sitting in their car Dec. 20 by Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who reportedly shot them before committing suicide to avenge Michael Brown and Eric Garner, black men who both died in police custody. In each case, grand juries decided not to indict the officers involved, sparking a national outcry.
Before the tragic slaying, de Blasio had supported peaceful demonstrations in his city. At Ramos’s funeral Dec. 27, cops turned their backs in protest as the mayor spoke.
NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton had asked his officers not to do the same at Liu’s funeral, according to the New York Daily News.
“The mayor has no respect for us. Why should we have respect for him?” retired NYPD detective told the AP of why she turned around during his speech.
Liu’s widow, Pei Xia Chen, also addressed the crowd. The couple has been married just two months when he was killed.
“He is my soul mate,” she said. “My hero.”
Watch videos from the funeral below: