Police Turn Their Backs on Mayor During Second NYPD Officer Funeral

Jan 04, 2015

Dozens of New York City police officers turned their backs on Mayor Bill de Blasio during services Sunday to honor and remember a police officer who was killed while on the job last month. The protest defied a request from the city's police chief not to use the funeral to protest the mayor.

"This city welcomed detective Liu,” de Blasio said, delivering a eulogy at the service. “New York stands a little taller today because of the time he walked among us.”

READ MORE: Why New York Cops Turned Their Backs on Mayor de Blasio

Officer Wenjian Liu was shot and killed along with his partner Rafael Ramos on Dec. 20 by a man who targeted the officers. The funeral for Liu had been delayed to allow family members to travel from China for the services. Liu himself moved to New York from China before joining the NYPD. Both the officer's father and newlywed wife also delivered emotional eulogies for their fallen loved one.

“To me, he is my soul mate,” said Pei Xia Chen, Liu's widow. “Wenjian is an incredible husband, son, co-worker and friend. My best friend.”

News of the protest added an unusually prominent dose of politics to the somber affair. As de Blasio praised Liu, officers from the NYPD and elsewhere turned away. William Bratton, the city's police chief, had sent a department-wide memo Saturday asking that the funeral be about "grieving, not grievance."

Read More: NYPD Chief Calls for Respect at Slain Officer’s Wake and Funeral

“I remind you that when you don the uniform of this department, you are bound by the tradition, honor and decency that go with it,” he said in the memo.

Funeral for New York City Police Officer Officer Wenjian Liu
VIEW GALLERY | 14 PHOTOS
Widow Pei Xia Chen holds a photo of slain New York Police Department officer Wenjian Liu as his casket departs his funeral in the Brooklyn borough of New York on Jan. 4, 2015.Peter Foley—EPA
Funeral for New York City Police Officer Officer Wenjian Liu
Policeman stands next to an image of slain New York Police Department officer Wenjian Liu during his funeral in the Brooklyn borough of New York
Law enforcement officers stand, with some turning their backs, as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks on a monitor outside the funeral for NYPD officer Wenjian Liu in the Brooklyn borough of New York
Funeral Held For Second Police Officer Killed In Brooklyn
Law enforcement officers salute Officer Wenjian Liu, as his hearse drives down 65th street in Brooklyn, New York. Jan. 4, 2015Photograph by An Rong Xu
Locals look on as Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during the funeral of New York Police Department Officer Wenjian Liu at Aievoli Funeral Home on Jan. 4, 2015 in the Brooklyn borough of New York.
Limo for family members is seen following the funeral of slain New York Police Department officer Wenjian Liu's in the Brooklyn borough of New York
Police officers from across the country gather for the funeral of New York Police Department Officer Wenjian Liu at Aievoli Funeral Home on Jan. 4, 2015, in the Brooklyn borough of New York.
Law enforcement officers stand, with some turning their backs, as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks on a monitor outside the funeral for NYPD officer Wenjian Liu in the Brooklyn borough of New York
NYPD Officers Shot
A spectator looks out onto officers during the funeral of New York Police Department Officer Wenjian Liu at Aievoli Funeral Home on Jan. 4, 2015 in the Brooklyn borough of New York.
The hearse carrying NYPD officer Wenjian Liu makes its way under a US flag en route to the cemetery in the Brooklyn borough of New York
Police officers wipe their tears during the funeral of New York Police Department Officer Wenjian Liu at Aievoli Funeral Home Jan. 4, 2015 in the Brooklyn borough of New York.
Funeral Held For Second Police Officer Killed In Brooklyn
Widow Pei Xia Chen holds a photo of slain New York Police Department officer Wenjian Liu as his casket departs his funeral in the Brooklyn borough of New York on Jan. 4, 2015.
Peter Foley—EPA
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