Weeks after a revolt from his own police force that had officers turning their backs on him, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tells the Associated Press he has moved past the rift, striking a tenuous truce with a strategy to stay above the fray. Public opinion eventually soured on the cops’ behavior. While he acknowledged much work remains to repair hard feelings over the chokehold death of Eric Garner, de Blasio said he has regained the footing to move on to other matters. “It was a perfect storm. It was based on two tragedies. The death of Eric Garner and the murder of these two officers. People felt pain all around,” de Blasio said. “I do believe things are much better. I believe the dialogue is moving forward.”
After two officers were ambushed on Dec. 20, shaken members of de Blasio’s inner circle devised a playbook. That plan involved three parts: Stay on the moral high ground and maintain focus on the grieving families of the slain officers, empower chosen surrogates to speak on the administration’s behalf, including Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Police Commissioner William Bratton, who allied himself closely with de Blasio but remained in good standing with the police unions, and avoid engaging in verbal warfare with the unions, hoping that the passage of time would dissipate the rank-and-file’s anger. For a while, the strategy failed.