New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Rev. Al Sharpton embraced yesterday after giving speeches that promised their commitment to social justice while respecting the NYPD as they vowed to mend fences between police and the community.
The two men were with a dozen elected officials who spoke to several hundred National Action Network members and supporters at Sharpton's House of Justice in Harlem, where they noted the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr, Newsday reports.
"We are not anti-police. We respect the police who put their lives on the line for us," said Sharpton, whose organization hired five tour buses to bring supporters to Brooklyn to lay wreaths where slain officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were shot and killed Dec. 20 while sitting in their police cruiser.
In his speech, de Blasio echoed Sharpton's sentiments. "We are looking for mutual respect between police and community. Martin Luther King would want us to move forward toward unity."
The mayor also criticized antipolice protesters who have been marching across the city.