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Leader of Latino police group urges cops to tone down anger at de Blasio

The makeshift memorial for slain NYPD detectives Wenjian

The makeshift memorial for slain NYPD detectives Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos at the intersection of Tompkins Avenue and Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn. Credit: Charles Eckert

The chairman of a national organization for Latino police called on officers who have publicly denounced Mayor Bill de Blasio to "rise above the rhetoric and be more professional" at a vigil Sunday in Brooklyn honoring two slain NYPD officers.

Scores of police officers have turned their backs to de Blasio at public events following the Dec. 20 slayings of officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, including at Ramos' Saturday funeral service in Queens.

The backlash against de Blasio -- spurred partly by union leaders critical of comments he made about instructing his biracial son to be cautious of police -- also drove a group of retired officers to pay for a banner flown over the Hudson River on Friday that read "De Blasio our backs have turned to you."

"There is a time and place for everything," said Anthony Miranda, executive chairman of the Brooklyn-based National Latino Officers Association. "At a funeral, or a hospital during the death of an officer, that's not the time or place for that thing."

Miranda's comments to reporters came after a coalition of minority officers held a candlelight vigil for Liu and Ramos at the Myrtle Avenue and Tompkins Avenue site in Brooklyn where the two were killed.

More than a dozen police officers representing the groups 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, Grand Council of Guardians and the National Latino Officers Association showed up at the site, laying flowers at the spot where the officers were gunned down. They stood silently with candles for 15 minutes and later shook hands with observers who thanked the officers for their service.

While the other two groups did not comment, Miranda said the groups were brought together "to show our respects to Officers Ramos and Liu."

While Patrick Lynch, president of the rank-and-file Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, has led the rallying cry against de Blasio, saying the mayor and other city leaders had "blood on their hands" in the wake of the killings, Miranda said "so far, you've only heard one voice and that's not the voice of us."

With Laura Figueroa

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