The savage killing of two New York City police officers has done nothing to ease the tension between protesters and the police department they hope to reform, reports the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange. In fact, divisions between the two sides appear to only have deepened. With more protests planned for New Year's Eve, the stand-off shows no sign of letting up. Leaders of a group organizing demonstrations to protest the lack of an indictment in the choking death of Eric Garner “snapped the olive branch Mayor Bill de Blasio had offered at a press conference” yesterday. De Blasio pleaded with activists to suspend their protests against police brutality until the two slain officers — Wenjian Liu, 32, and Rafael Morales, 40 — could be given a proper burial.
Protest organizers from Stop Mass Incarceration Network, an organization dedicated to wholesale reform of what they call racist policing practices, delivered an unequivocal rejection of de Blasio's proposal. “There's been no moratorium on the police killing our people,” said Travis Morales, head of the network's New York chapter. “The police haven't put aside murdering our people with impunity. We can't back down.” Carl Dix, a co-founder of the organization along with professor and activist Cornel West, said the mayor and police commissioner are trying to conflate cop killer Ismaayil Brinsley with the efforts of protesters exercising their constitutional rights and trying to bring an end to police brutality. “Our message has nothing to do with violence,” he said. “This is not a slap in the face of the grieving members of the killed officers. Ours is a message to stop police brutality.”