De Blasio to Meet Garner Protesters on Friday

NEW YORK (AP) -

Mayor Bill de Blasio is inviting to City Hall organizers of the protests over the death of Eric Garner. The Justice League, who held a small protest Monday outside Gracie Mansion and organized larger events across the city, will meet the mayor on Friday.

The meeting is certain to add to the mounting tensions between de Blasio and the NYPD union. The mayor delivered the latest volley Tuesday in the wake of their call to ban him from future NYPD funerals.

“It’s divisive. It’s inappropriate,” de Blasio said. “When an officer dies, it is a moment when the whole community has to come together in support of our police, in support of that officer.”

He added: “A few union leaders do not necessarily speak for the people who protect us every day.”

The funeral petition was put forth by PBA head Patrick Lynch, who said officers felt “they were thrown under the bus” after de Blasio spoke about teaching his own teenage son, who is half-black, to be careful around police.

“It is very clear to me that the mayor has no idea of just how angry New York City police officers are at him for his lack of support and for laying decades of society’s problems undeservedly at their feet,” Lynch said.

Sergeant Benevolent Association President Edward Mullins agreed, saying the petition was reflective of “the anger that’s being felt in the rank-and-file toward de Blasio.”