You should read this article in full. This situation is turning pretty ugly.
The subject of discussion is the police protest of the New York mayor by turning their backs on him as he gives a speech at the funerals of recently slain officers, and a directive from the police commissioner to the rank and file officers calling for this conduct to cease. An officer who spoke on condition of anonymity:
“I did that because I feel Mayor de Blasio does not like cops, and I would never do anything to disrespect another cop or his family…“
“He cares about his boss more than the 35,000 cops he’s in charge of,” the cop complained.”
Then again, Sergeant’s Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins isn’t shy:
“If you’re the mayor and you have to direct the commissioner to respect you, it’s a total embarrassment for the office,” he said. “Are they going to order cops to go have dinner with him next?”
Then you have NYPD Captain’s Endowment Association President Richter*:
“We must work to honor Police Officer Wenjian Liu’s sacrifice at future services,” he said in a statement. “In this forum the appropriate protest is not a sign or turning away from mourners, or people the family has asked to speak, but rather cold, steely silence.”
So, the range of opinion among the New York police apparently goes from: a) protesting the mayor by turning your back; or b) protesting the mayor through “cold, steely silence”. Because the mayor “doesn’t like cops”, which is pretty much a ludicrous assertion when you think about it. It’s completely unnatural for a mayor not to like cops that are, after all, one of his most important political constituencies. Liking cops is part of the mayor’s informal job description.
So, the real complaint could not be, and is not, that the mayor doesn’t like cops, but rather that he must not “like” cops enough. How much is “enough”? Apparently a whole lot. Apparently it’s a very tough job to like cops as much as cops think you ought to like them when you are the mayor. It may be an unattainable kind of like. As in, a kind of worship.
I mean, I like cops. I don’t worship them.
At this point, it’s hard to read this episode any other way than this: the police commissioner and the mayor are seen as being insufficiently servile to collective police power and influence, and so the police collectively throw a hissy fit on the occasions of the funerals of of recently slain officers, using their deaths as an occasion to make a show of force against the mayor and commissioner.
And they are so convinced of their invincibility in all this. It never seems to enter their mind that they are overplaying their hand, that they are coming to resemble spoiled children stamping their feet and holding their breath until they get their way. They have gotten away with that too much to worry about it, and they are as yet unaware of the sea change that’s underway in much of the country.
* What, do these guys have a separate “association” for every rank?