New York City Rep. Charlie Rangel (D) said he’s been walking up to cops since the weekend slaying of two NYPD officers to let them know he loves them.
“It’s painful. It’s painful. It’s emotional, and it makes no sense at all,” Rangel told CNN today when asked about NYPD officers turning their backs on New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. “When we lost these two policemen, New York lost a part of their family. I don’t think there’s any New Yorker that doesn’t appreciate the hard work, the danger, the courage these guys have.”
“And when a family gets hit, and you have a problem with the family before, you have a murder that takes place, you’re supposed to come together. You’re not supposed to attack each other. We got problems with our family, that’s what makes New York great. We’re problem solvers — 9/11, we take it all on,” he added.
“But when you have something this painful, instead of talking about burying the dead, giving comfort to the family, it’s a multilayered problem that we face, but right now, it’s only one thing we have is pain, sorrow for those who have lost. Pointing fingers has no place at all with civilized people.”
Rangel said he doesn’t think it all falls on de Blasio’s shoulders to mend relations with the NYPD.
“I’ve been walking up to every policeman and I’ve been giving my sympathy, my condolence. The policemen have to know we love them, that we don’t run up and kiss them every time we see them in the street. They have to know when we get teed off with lack of communication with them that we’re going to speak up and we’ve got to protest. But it doesn’t mean when we lose one of the family that we don’t feel that pain,” the congressman continued.
“And so we have to go tell the policemen, listen, ceasefire. Stop. Take time out, and let’s bury our heroes. We can take care of the problems later. Pointing fingers has nothing to do with it. And quite frankly, we’re dealing with a whole lot of problems. We’re dealing with guns. We’re dealing with violence. We’re dealing with racism. We’re dealing with lack of communication. We’re dealing with a lot of problems, but most of all, and it can’t be challenged, we’re dealing with pain.”
Rangel stressed that factors such as “300 million guns on the street” and the mental health of the gunman, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, need to be weighed.
“He’s walking around with a gun, and there’s some evidence that the guy’s mentally ill. Is that a factor? Yes, take politics out of it, but we have to take a deep breath, bury the heroes, and see what is this all about? Is it about the president? About the attorney general, de Blasio, Lynch? Of course not.”