The PJ Tatler

Rangel: Officers Who Turned Backs on de Blasio Exercised 'Poor Judgment'

NYC Rep. Charlie Rangel (D) said he “never felt more proud as a New Yorker” during the weekend funeral service for slain Officer Rafael Ramos, but said the officers who turned their backs on Mayor Bill de Blasio when he spoke exercised “poor judgment.”

“Why did it take a tragic thing like this for New Yorkers to come together to realize how important and how much we appreciate our New York City Police Department?” Rangel told CNN, adding that “every speaker made it appear as though they were talking through us to the family saying things that we all wanted to say.”

“I think it’s going to make us stronger and realize the obligations that we have to each other to communicate with each other, but, you know, it always happens that when a tragic event happens, you wish you had said ‘I loved you’ more, you wish you had paid more attention. But, fortunately, we have an opportunity to make up for that,” he said. “We’ve lost two heroes, and their loss remind us of the obligation that we have to respect those that each and every morning or afternoon or night go out there and put their lives on the line, and their families just hope and pray they return home.”

Rangel referred to the police officers who turned their backs on de Blasio as “those people that had bad taste or put a bad face on a terrible situation.”

“I, for one, got a spirit out of that service that we should be more considerate of each other and not be pointing fingers at each other and try to improve our behavior and our communication and appreciate what we’ve got… we’ve lost two heroes,” he said. “Now is not the time to be pointing fingers but coming together and seeing what we can do to work better together, because one thing is clear, that while we lost two heroes, every speaker made it clear that we, too, have a short period of time on this earth to do the right thing.”

“And it was a sad thing, but the way the New York City police were lauded by people from all over the country just made us proud to be New Yorkers and to have the New York City Police Department.”

The congressman then compared the relationship between the cops and the mayor to how every family has “an uncle that says the wrong thing and everyone tolerates him.”

“You and I know that we tolerate listening to people doing the wrong thing and it’s the people who are silent when we see these things happen. So right now we’re burying our heroes. That doesn’t mean that the family’s not going to have a reunion, and at this time I hope it’s going to be at a much higher level. But people who can’t admit in their own families they have some people they’re not proud of, they’ve got a problem themselves,” he continued.

On the rift between cops and de Blasio, Rangel said, “When people have made up their mind that they’re looking for a fight and not reconciliation, then we just have to pause and let them talk themselves out of it.”

New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton predicted yesterday on NBC that the rift between the mayor and the officers “is going to go on for a while longer.”

“However, we will be making efforts to sit down and talk with the union leaders in particular to deal with their issues,” Bratton said. “The issues go far beyond race relations in this city. They involve labor contracts. They involve a lot of history in the city that’s really different from some of what’s going on in the country as a whole.”