Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday that he believes tensions have eased between his administration and the NYPD members after hitting a nadir last December, when hundreds turned their backs on him in a show of disrespect following the murders of two cops.
Asked on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" whether his relationship had improved with the city's 35,000 officers, de Blasio said, "It was understandable that people felt deep, deep emotion" after Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were ambushed by a cop-hating gunman in Brooklyn.
"I think everyone after that experience recognized we all had to come forward, look forward, we all had to find a way toward each other. And I think the tone is much better," de Blasio said during the interview.
He noted that the city is again in mourning, over the death of Brian Moore of Massapequa, a 25-year-old NYPD officer shot in the head while confronting an armed ex-con in Queens on Saturday night.
"We need to understand the pain that is caused to a family when we lose a police officer, obviously the pain when we lose a civilian as well," de Blasio said. "Brian Moore is someone we should all emulate.
"We also have to figure out how to continually bring police and community together, because we've lost a lot of other good young men recently, particularly young men of color, who were innocent, who were unarmed."
De Blasio credited improved relations between the NYPD and civilians as the impetus for bystanders in Queens Village Saturday to help officers pick up the trail of the accused shooter, who was arrested 90 minutes later.
In a statement, the head of the union that five months ago accused de Blasio of having blood on his hands, Patrick Lynch of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, said: "We are gratified by Mayor de Blasio's strong support for his police officers in these troubled times, and we hope his remarks signal the beginning of a new era of unanimity between our officers, who serve and protect, and the mayor."