The chief of the NYPD has issued an unusual request to members of the force: He doesn't want them to turn their backs on Bill de Blasio tomorrow when the mayor speaks at an officer's funeral. Chief William Bratton hopes to avoid a repeat of what happened when de Blasio spoke at Rafael Ramos' services last week, reports USA Today. "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," Bratton wrote in his memo to officers. He did not, however, threaten disciplinary action for those who disobey during the funeral of Wenjian Liu, reports the Daily News.
Police unions have blamed de Blasio directly for the two officers' deaths, saying the mayor stirred up anti-police sentiment. But Bratton says that can wait. "A hero's funeral is about grieving, not grievance," he wrote. When officers made their public stand last week, "it stole the valor, honor and attention that rightfully belonged to the memory of Detective Rafael Ramos' life and sacrifice," says Bratton. "That was not the intent, I know. But it was a result." No word on whether the unions, which have been taking flak, will comply. (Read more NYPD stories.)