Sunday, December 28, 2014

"Blessed Are The Peacemakers" - Officers Turning Their Backs At Funeral Ought To Be Ashamed Of Themselves

Yesterday (12/27/14) my wife and I did something that we rarely do and that is turn on the television on a Saturday morning. We are off for Christmas break and are in a more relaxed mood, so when she turned on the TV we both sat down and as it turns out the funeral service for slain NYPD Officer Rafael Ramos was being broadcast live. Vice President Biden was speaking at the time and we decided not to turn the channel. Vice President Biden was followed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo who was followed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Mayor de Blasio was followed by New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton followed by two pastors with the latter being Officer Ramos' pastor, Pastor Ralph Castillo. All of the words spoken by each were sincere and heartfelt. I especially connected with the words of Reverend Castillo, pastor of  the Christ Tabernacle Church where Officer Ramos and his family are active members, as he explained how Officer Ramos was a "peacemaker" and that as children of God, we all ought to be "peacemakers."

Officers with their Backs Turned to Screen
Ironically and the reason for this post is the fact that while Reverend Castillo was challenging us all to be peacemakers, many of the police officers who were attending the funeral service outside of the church were being silent troublemakers. I say this because a large faction of the police officers outside of the church chose to participate in a silent protest of New York Mayor, Bill de Blasio by turning their backs on the image of him speaking as it appeared on the large screen. I found this to be the height of disrespect as the day was not about the officers or Mayor de Blasio. The day was about celebrating the life of Officer Ramos and offering support to his loved ones left behind. It was not a day to grandstand or protest. Oddly enough, Mayor de Blasio and others asked the street protesters to honor the funeral time by not protesting and they adhered to the request, so I don't understand what made the police union and the officers feel as if they were so special that they felt the need to turn their backs at a FUNERAL service.
Widow of Officer Ramos and Sons
The officers were on the outside of the church turning their backs to a screen which I thought was stupid because the mayor was speaking inside and did not even know anything about the demonstration going on. The entire display was extremely disrespectful and appalling to me. How dare they exploit a funeral service! What type of message about respect were those officers sending children (and adults for that matter) by their behavior? They had the nerve to use Officer Ramos' funeral to express their displeasure with the mayor. The bottom line is the police union and the officers were out of order.....PERIOD. There was no excuse for that behavior. That was a time for peace and certainly acting like spoiled brats by turning their backs on a screen was not indicative of anyone wanting peace. I am thoroughly disappointed by all of the officers who participated in their little childish demonstration at the Ramos funeral and that certainly did nothing to garner my respect of them. My hats off to the officers who had the common decency not to participate in those shenanigans and chose to respect Mrs. Ramos and her sons. Sometimes you just have to know when to say when.  My condolences and prayers go out to the Ramos, Liu and Christ Tabernacle Church families. Shame on those officers who turned their backs at that funeral. Shame on you!!

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