Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani today rebuked police officers who have turned their backs on Mayor Bill de Blasio but urged his Democratic successor to apologize for remarks that infuriated the police amid searing tension among the department and communities of color, Politico reports.
Appearing on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Giuliani said officers should never turn their backs on the mayor, as they did at the funeral of slain officer Rafael Ramos, who was shot and killed Dec. 20 by an assailant who targeted police.
“The mayor is not in any way to be treated with people turning their backs,” Giuliani said. “It doesn’t matter if you like the mayor or you don’t like the mayor. You have to respect the mayor.”
Giuliani said he expressed that sentiment directly to de Blasio on Saturday, but he went on to urge the mayor to apologize for fanning the flames of racial tensions between police and protesters, furious over the recent deaths of unarmed black men in New York City and Ferguson, Missouri. On Staten Island, de Blasio has faced criticism from police allies for comments interpreted as supporting the protesters.
“Mayor de Blasio, please say you’re sorry to them for having created a false impression of them,” Giuliani said.
The former mayor, a Republican, spent most of his remarks slamming Al Sharpton, who’s been a regular presence in support of protesters and who has the ear of both de Blasio and the White House. Sharpton is a polarizing figure, and his critics contend he’s actually stoked racial tensions in the months since the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson.
“If you would like to have a poster boy for hating the police, it’s Al Sharpton,” Giuliani said, urging President Barack Obama and de Blasio to disassociate from him. He compared Sharpton’s seat at the White House table to an effort to clamp down on the Mafia while turning to a mob boss for advice.
Read more: POLITICO