At a Christmas dinner at his National Action Network headquarters in Harlem, the Rev. Al Sharpton spoke of "doing something big" with Cardinal Timothy Dolan next year to unite New York City in the wake of divisions over the NYPD.
"I talked with Cardinal Dolan yesterday, and after the first of the year we're talking about doing something big to bring the city together," Sharpton said to a packed audience of hundreds.
Sharpton would not elaborate and representatives for Dolan did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday.
Joining Sharpton at the dinner were the families of Eric Garner, who died in July after he was placed in an apparent chokehold during an arrest, and Sean Bell, an unarmed man shot dead by police outside a Queens strip club in 2006.
Sharpton noted it was the first Christmas Garner's family spent without him.
But Sharpton also called for a moment of silence for the families of slain officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu. The pair was gunned down Saturday as they sat in a police vehicle in Brooklyn by a gunman who bragged on social media about his plan to kill cops.
"We pray for the family of Officer Ramos and Officer Liu," Sharpton said, making a distinction between questioning the actions of some police and being against all police.
"This is not, never has and never will be an anti-police movement, and it is not and never will be a 'kill police' movement," he said. "We are against the shedding of any innocent blood," he added.
Later, Garner's widow, Esaw Garner, wiped tears from her eyes, and his mother, Gwen Carr, addressed the needs of the slain officers' families.
"Give the police officers' families time to mourn," she said.
Among those at the event was Rachel Noerdlinger, who took a leave of absence last month from her post as chief of staff for New York City's first lady Chirlane McCray.
Noerdlinger has been a divisive figure among police. In September, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association called for Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration to oust her after, among other things, the discovery of anti-police social media posts by her live-in partner and her 17-year-old son.
Noerdlinger, who previously was the spokeswoman for Sharpton and his organization, said she has been attending the Christmas event at NAN for the last 15 years.
"NAN always brings the families of victims together," she said. "This year was especially poignant. The families felt very strongly about honoring officers Liu and Ramos."