On Monday, New York’s mayor called for protests and political debate to pause until after funerals are held for two officers shot and killed inside their patrol car on Saturday by a man vowing revenge for the deaths of black men at the hands of police.
“I think it’s important that regardless of people’s viewpoints that everyone step back,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a speech at the Police Athletic League. “I think it’s a time for everyone to put aside political debates, put aside protests, put aside all of the things that we will talk about in all due time.”
Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were ambushed Saturday afternoon by a 28-year-old who wrote in an Instagram post that he would put “wings on pigs.” The suspect, Ishmaaiyl Brinsley was black; the slain New York Police Department officers were Hispanic and Asian.
The killings couldn’t have come at a more tense time. Police nationwide are being criticized following Eric Garner’s death in a NYPD officer’s chokehold and the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Neither officers involved in the deaths were charged.
De Blasio said it was time to focus on the griveing families of the officers, whom he and Police Commissioner William Bratton met with on Monday.
Officials in Boston and Philadelphia have also called for calm in light of the officers’ deaths.
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