A month after the killings of two New York police officers set off a dramatic public confrontation between union leaders and a mayor elected on a vow to reform the police department, New Yorkers are not happy with either side, reports the Washington Post. In a new poll, nearly 70 percent of New York voters disapproved of police officers turning their backs on Mayor Bill de Blasio when he spoke at the funerals of two officers gunned down last month as they sat in their patrol car. A smaller majority disapproved of the mayor's handling of his relationship with the police, who have accused him of taking the side of activists and protesters who have sharply criticized police tactics after the killings of several unarmed African Americans.
The NYPD, with 34,000 members, has a long and colorful history of run-ins with City Hall. The grievances behind the latest showdown highlight a clash of cultures between a police department shaped by two decades of aggressive enforcement policies that have coincided with a dramatic drop in the crime rate and a reemergent liberal political establishment that has long criticized some policing tactics. “The reasons police are enraged is because you've got all these people now talking about their jobs and they don't feel that most people have any idea what they do and what they see every day,” said Eugene O'Donnell, a former New York police officer on the faculty of John Jay College of Criminal Justice.