Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday for the first time denounced anti-police protests, calling their timing after the shooting deaths of two officers “deeply divisive.”
“Two families are in deep pain and our NYPD family is in mourning,” de Blasio said in a statement. “As I have said, it’s deeply divisive to hold political protests during this period of remembrance.”
De Blasio had just the day before called protesters’ comparing police to the Ku Klux Klan as “fringe” elements. On Tuesday night, protesters ignored his call for a halt to protests until after the officers’ funerals on Saturday, chanting, “NYPD, KKK, how many kids did you kill today?”
About 40 threats against police were made since Saturday. Half were dismissed while investigators probe the rest. Police said that six men were arrested for threatening police.
A seventh man was arrested Wednesday, although not for threatening police. A 38-year-old man was arrested on gun charges in Queens after an informant overheard him making threats against police while talking on his cell phone at a bank. Elvin Payamps was arrested at his home, where a police search turned up two guns, bullet-resistant vests, brass knuckles and a holster.
Thanking the person who gave over the information to police, de Blasio called it “a terrific example of police and the community working together to keep us all safe.”
In related news, sobbing hysterically, the distraught mother and widow of one of the two murdered officers on Wednesday visited the site where the two were killed.
Widow Pei Xia Chen visited the makeshift memorial site where her husband Wenjian Liu, who she married just two months ago, and his partner, Rafael Ramos, were ambushed Saturday. She and other family members placed two wreaths at the tented memorial site.
NYPD officers escorted the sobbing family members, some shaking and wailing as they left the scene.
The Ramos family took an emotional trip of its own Wednesday, visiting the 84th Precinct stationhouse — where Rafael was assigned — for the first time since he was killed.
Ramos’s son read from a statement to about 150 NYPD officers.
“Their deaths will not be in vain,” Justin Ramos said. “[My brother] Jaden [who is 13] and I are going to honor our father in everything that we do … Rest in peace, Dad.”