Friday morning, a small plane flew over New York City with a banner attached that read: "De Blasio, Our Backs Have Turned to You." The sign, a reference to some NYPD officers protesting against Mayor de Blasio following the shooting deaths of Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos last weekend, was the work of a "large and unified group of current and retired NYC Police Officers, Detectives, & Supervisors," according to blogger and former cop John Cardillo.
Ashley Chalmers, the owner of the plane, told the New York Daily News that the people who rented it "wish to remain anonymous," though Cardillo said he was contacted by the NYPD group on Friday and asked to release a statement. The statement, via Cardillo's blog, is below.
As a large and unified group of current and retired NYC Police Officers, Detectives, & Supervisors, we are outraged by the mayor's incendiary rhetoric, and for facilitating the current hostile climate towards the NYPD. We understand that the department and even our own unions can only go so far in their public condemnation of the mayor as to not irreparably damage the working relationship with the city, or future contract negotiations.
"It is our opinion that Mayor de Blasio's dangerous and irresponsible comments about his and his wife's concern for their son's safety at the hands of the NYPD fueled the flames that led to civil unrest, and potentially to the deaths of PO Wenjian Liu and PO Rafael Ramos, as well as the continued threats against NYPD personnel. The Mayor shows us no respect, and encourages the public to follow his lead.
"Mayor de Blasio clearly doesn't understand nor care that every man and woman of the NYPD would give their life to protect his son, his family, and every other resident of New York City. Tragically, two of our Finest made that ultimate sacrifice days before Christmas.
"We no longer have confidence in Mayor de Blasio, nor in his ability to lead New York City and promote the values that both the NYPD and the good law abiding citizens of the city hold dear. Mayor de Blasio turned his back on us long before we turned our backs on him."
"This is a time to think about the families and honor our fallen officers," [Deputy Press Secretary Wiley] Norvell said in a statement. "Dividing people won't help our city heal. We'll continue to stand with responsible New Yorkers who are doing the right thing in a time of pain."