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Bratton: Cops Turning Backs On De Blasio At Funeral Was 'Inappropriate'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton on Sunday condemned his officers for turning their backs on Mayor Bill de Blasio during the funeral for Officer Rafael Ramos, one of the two cops gunned down in their squad car earlier this month.

Officers outside the Christ Tabernacle Church in Glendale, Queens, could be seen Saturday turning their backs to the Jumbotron screen broadcasting the service as de Blasio spoke.

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In an interview on CBS' "Face the Nation," Bratton said he did not back the actions of the police.

"I think it was very inappropriate at that event," the commissioner said. "That funeral was held to honor Officer Ramos, and to bring politics or to bring issues into that event, I think was very inappropriate, and I do not support it. He is the mayor of New York. He was there representing the citizens of New York to express their remorse and their regret at that death. It was inappropriate, and at the same time, it is reflective, unfortunately, of the feelings of some of our officers."

Caught in the middle of a war of words between the mayor and cops in recent weeks, Bratton insisted de Blasio has been supportive of police, noting that the city has given the NYPD hundreds of millions of dollars that was not budgeted, much of it devoted to improving officer safety.

"This is a mayor that cares very deeply about New York City police officers, cares very deeply about the divide in this city at this time and is working very hard to heal that divide," Bratton said.

The commissioner conceded that morale in the department is low, but commended police on "showing remarkable professional restraint" during demonstrations directed against them.

Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani appeared, too, on "Face the Nation," and also blasted officers for turning their backs on de Blasio.

Bratton: Cops Turning Backs On De Blasio At Funeral Was 'Inappropriate'

"The mayor is not in any way to be treated with people turning their backs," he said. "Doesn't matter if you like the mayor or you don't like the mayor; you have to respect the mayor's position."

While saying it was unfair for anyone to suggest de Blasio's past remarks led to the shootings, Giuliani said the mayor should apologize to the NYPD, CBS2's Andrea Grymes reported.

"For the impression he created for many, many months; that the police department is somehow a racist department or that it's a systemic problem in the New York City Police Department. Of course it's a problem, but it is not a systemic problem," the former mayor said.

And also for appearing to side with protesters in the Eric Garner case.

"He created an impression with the police that he was on the side of the protesters," Giuliani said. "Now, some of those protesters were entirely legitimate, but some of those protesters were horrible, yelling 'kill the police, kill the police, kill the police.'"

But as for the advice the mayor gave to his son on how to interact with police, "The advice the mayor gave to his son should be taken out of the racial context," Giuliani said.

"I gave that advice to my son, my father gave me that advice when I was a little boy growing up in Brooklyn," Giuliani continued. "Respect the police, be careful, don't let them misunderstand you. Police are always right and you're wrong, we'll just straighten it out later."

Giuliani also defended his earlier comments that accused President Barack Obama of anti-police rhetoric by taking shots.

"He has had Al Sharpton to the White House 80, 85 times," Giuliani said. "Often when he's talking about police issues, he has Al Sharpton sitting next to him. If he would like to have a poster boy for hating the police, it's Al Sharpton. You make Al Sharpton a close adviser, you're going to turn the police and America against you. You're going to tell the police in America, 'We don't understand you.' I saw this man help cause riots in New York. I've heard his anti-police invective first-hand."

Giuiliani added that de Blasio "could lose Al Sharpton also."

The mayor's office said it stands behind Bratton's comments supporting the mayor, and wouldn't comment on what Giuiliani said, CBS2 reported.

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