New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio has lost the trust of some officers in the tense aftermath following the fatal shooting of two NYPD policemen, Police Chief Bill Bratton said Monday.
In an exclusive interview with with Matt Lauer, Bratton addressed what Lauer described as an "undeniable rift" between Mayor De Blasio and members of the NYPD.
Police officers turned their backs on De Blasio in protest Saturday evening at Woodhull Hospital.
The two officers were pronounced dead at a hospital following the execution-style killings by Ismaaiyl Brinsley. Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were in their patrol car at the time of the killing. The son of Ramos posted a heartbreaking message on Facebook following the news:
"I think he has lost it with some officers," Bratton said of De Blasio. "I was at the hospital when that event occurred....I don't support that particular activity, I don't think it was appropriate, particularly in that setting, but it's reflective of the anger of some of them."
Bratton also appeared to place blame on recent demonstrations following the non-indictments of officers involved in the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.
"It's quite obvious that the targeting of these two police officers was a direct spinoff of the issues of these demonstrations," Bratton said.
Bratton's position echoed that of NYC Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch. On Saturday night, Lynch blamed both protestors and De Blasio.
"That blood on the hands starts on the steps of City Hall, in the office of the mayor," Lynch said.
The social movement #BlackLivesMatter condemned the killings in a statement, calling the loss of life "senseless."
Police departments throughout New York remain on high alert.