NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani has called on critics to dial down the "rhetoric" against Mayor Bill de Blasio in the face of two NYPD officers who were fatally shot in Brooklyn Saturday.
Giuliani spoke out in defense of de Blasio, but also criticized him for not being tough enough on protesters during recent demonstrations over the grand jury decision in the Eric Garner case, 1010 WINS' Sonia Rincon reported.
"Stop this stuff with 'the blood is on his hands.' The blood is not on his hands," the former mayor told 1010 WINS. "I don't think the mayor is responsible for this. I think that's an incorrect and incendiary charge...I do think he should change some of his policies."
Former Mayor Giuliani Calls For End To 'Rhetoric' Against De Blasio
Giuliani said de Blasio allowed protesters too much control.
"The protesters should not have been allowed to take over streets the way they did," Giuliani said. "This is what we learned with Crown Heights, and it seems like we've unlearned it."
Giuliani said de Blasio can and should put the police back in charge of the protests and be more supportive of the officers' fight against crime.
"And if he does that, if he has a balanced approached to this he will win the police back. In any event the police should respect him," he said.
Giuliani added that officers should give the mayor a chance to make changes and not turn their back on him.
Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch and de Blasio have been locked in a public battle over treatment of officers following the grand jury's decision not to indict an officer in the death of Eric Garner.
"There's blood on many hands tonight. Those that incited violence on the streets under the guise of protest that tried to tear down what NYPD officers did every day. We tried to warn it must not go on, it cannot be tolerated," Lynch said on Saturday. "That blood on the hands starts at City Hall in the office of the mayor."
De blasio eschewed Lynch's sentiments as divisive, but video of officers literally turning their backs on the mayor as he arrived at the hospital where officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were pronounced dead is a telling sign of the tension between him and the NYPD rank and file, CBS2's Scott Rapoport reported.
CBS2 caught up with former Police Commissioner Ray Kelly outside ABC Studios, where he said it's a complex situation particularly given the unrest with the Garner case.
"Hopefully cooler heads will prevail and the rhetoric will subside somewhat," he said.
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