Meeks rips police for turning backs on NYC mayor

Rep. Gregory MeeksGregory Weldon MeeksDemocrats go big on diversity with new House recruits Chamber of Commerce, banking industry groups call on Senate to pass corporate diversity bill Sherman joins race for House Foreign Affairs gavel MORE (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday ripped police officers who turned their backs on New York Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioOvernight Health Care: Fauci says family has faced threats | Moderna to charge to a dose for its vaccine | NYC adding checkpoints to enforce quarantine New York City adding 'key entry point' checkpoints to enforce quarantine The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Virus bill unlikely to pass this week MORE while he delivered a eulogy for a slain officer.

“This antic was disrespectful and betrayed the decorum and responsibility that is expected of public servants, especially at the funeral of a fallen officer,” he said in a statement.

“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 said.

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Some officers turned their backs Saturday on a video screen showing de Blasio’s speech at the funeral for officer Rafael Ramos, who along with partner Wenjian Liu were killed by a gunman who had left messages on social media suggesting he would take violence against police over the separate police killings of two unarmed black men.

Police have been angered over comments de Blasio has made about police and minorities.

He had commented publicly about how 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 (PBA) said that de Blasio had “blood” on this hands because of his comments. The New York Post reported on Monday that NYPD officers were limiting arrests for minor offenses in protest of the mayor’s remarks.

Meeks commended de Blasio for meeting with the police unions — including the PBA — on Tuesday.

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Also on Tuesday, Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.), who is a major congressional supporter of the NYPD and a critic of de Blasio said that he thought the protest had created undue sympathy for the mayor.

“I wouldn’t have done it,” King told WABC radio in comments first reported by BuzzFeed News. “My father was a cop. I’ve known cops my whole life. I’ve never seen such anger among cops. 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.”

The debate over the protest follows a month of nationwide protest over the way police forces treat minorities.