The war of words has begun against New York Mayor Bill de Blasio following Saturday's murders of two NYPD police officers, who were shot "execution style" in their patrol car in broad daylight.
Critics have slammed de Blasio in the wake of the attack, with some blaming the mayor, following his response to recent protests against police brutality in the city.
Since the start of large-scale protests demonstrating against a Staten Island grand jury's decision not to indict an NYPD officer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner, tensions have been mounting between de Blasio and New York police unions, among others.
Republican politicians and the unions publicly criticized the mayor this weekend. Former New York Gov. George Pataki directed a damning tweet at de Blasio and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, calling the killings the "predictable outcome of anti-cop rhetoric."
Speaking to reporters outside Woodhull Medical Center on Saturday night, Patrick Lynch, head of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, slammed de Blasio for his response to the recent protests.
"There's blood on many hands tonight," Lynch said. "Those that incited violence on the street under the guise of protest, that tried to tear down what New York City police officers did every day. We tried to warn it must not go on. It cannot be tolerated. That blood on the hands starts on the steps of City Hall in the office of the mayor."
Meanwhile, inside the hospital at a press briefing, dozens of police officers turned their backs on the mayor as he walked into the building.
A Twitter account believed to be associated with the Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA) of New York City, an independent union of active and retired NYPD sergeants, tweeted on Saturday that the "blood of 2 executed police officers is on the hands of Mayor Bill de Blasio."
Mashable spoke with New York SBA vice-president Robert Ganley on Sunday morning. Ganley would not confirm or deny that the tweet was sent by someone in his organization, and said he "doesn't know anything about" it.
Several politicians, mostly Republican, have also condemned de Blasio. New York Sen. Greg Ball issued a statement on Sunday, saying the mayor "has put a target on NYPD's back," and demanded that New Yorkers "hold him accountable."
"Today, our NYPD and other law enforcement and emergency responders have walking targets on their backs, and are in grave danger. Mince no words. The Mayor is directly responsible for their safety or lack thereof. This Mayor brings all new meaning to ‘I didn’t know you could stack sh*t that high’. Don’t wait for him to act, New York. Take peaceful and effective action now, and in the coming months, to hold him accountable. This man needs to go. Never forget,” Ball said.
Meanwhile, de Blasio said the officers' murders were an attack on New York as a whole.
“When a police officer is murdered, it tears at the very foundation of our society — it is an attack on all of us,” de Blasio said during a press briefing Saturday night. “We depend on our police to protect us against forces of criminality and evil. They are a foundation of our society, and when they are attacked, it is an attack on the very concept of decency."
On Sunday morning, the mayor attended a mass for the slain officers at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan alongside his wife and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton.
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