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Hundreds of NYPD officers defied their commissioner's request for respect, and turned their backs on New York's mayor once again Sunday during the funeral of Wenjian Liu, one of two officers killed last month in Brooklyn.
Dozens of cops turned away from Mayor Bill de Blasio as he gave a eulogy honoring Liu, a Chinese immigrant who de Blasio said embodied the American dream. Last month, a man claiming to avenge the cop-involved death of Staten Island resident Eric Garner in July, shot Liu and his partner, Rafael Ramos, in their police car.
"Let us move forward by strengthening the bonds that unite us, and let us work together to attain peace," de Blasio said at the funeral, the Associated Press reported.
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton has criticized de Blasio for fanning anti-police protests in the city that erupted in the wake of the deaths of several unarmed black men at the hands of police across America in recent months. But Bratton explicitly asked the officers to reserve their grievances against the mayor until after the service for Liu.
Hundreds of officers had turned their backs on the mayor last weekend at Ramos' funeral.
"For the last seven days, the city's and the country's consciousness of that funeral has focused on an act of disrespect shown by a portion of those tens of thousands of officers," Bratton wrote in a statement read at all precincts this weekend. "It stole the valor, honor and attention that rightfully belonged to the memory of Detective Rafael Ramos' life and sacrifice. That was not the intent, I know. But it was the result."
The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Jack Lynch defended the officers' "organic gesture" as freedom of expression.
Officers "have a right to have our opinion heard, like everyone else that protests out in the city," he told the AP.
The NYPD did not immediately respond to VICE News' requests for comment today.