FBI Director James Comey will attend the funeral service for a New York Police Department officer who was slain with his partner in an ambush, the White House said late Wednesday.
Liu and officer Rafael Ramos were killed in December by a gunman who posted messages on social media suggesting his actions were in retaliation for the killings of two unarmed black men, Eric Garner in Staten Island and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. Grand juries declined to bring charges against police officers in those cases.
Vice President Biden attended the Dec. 27 funeral of Ramos, where he said shootings “touched the soul of the entire nation.”
At that service, some police officers turned their backs on a video screen showing New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s (D) eulogy.
Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) later ripped the officers, saying in a statement their “antic was disrespectful and betrayed the decorum and responsibility that is expected of public servants, especially at the funeral of a fallen officer.”
“At this critical juncture, I believe Mayor de Blasio is working to heal as well as unite our city and I thank him for this continued effort,” he added.
Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) last week also criticized the officers.
“I wouldn’t have done it,” King, who is a major supporter of the NYPD and a critic of de Blasio, told WABC.
“I’ve never seen such anger among cops,” he said. “You really have not just anger but also a sense of betrayal. But I think they’ve made their points, and I understand why they did it, but I don’t want it to be creating sympathy for de Blasio either.”
De Blasio’s comments about police and minorities have angered police.
The mayor has said he and his wife, who is black, had warned their son that he might be regarded with additional suspicion by police officers because he is biracial.
After the officers were killed, the head of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association said that de Blasio had “blood” on his hands because of his comments.