NEW YORK CITY — Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said support for the mayor among the NYPD is crumbling in the wake of the murder of two police officers in Brooklyn over the weekend.
But he disagreed that the mayor's recent words and actions were behind the increasing threat on police officers.
"I do not," Bratton said. "I don't believe that at all."
"It's quite apparent...that the targeting of these two police officers was a direct spinoff of this issue, of these demonstrations," he told NBC.
Bratton's comments came amid several developments Monday:
► Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that de Blasio, with whom he has had a rocky relationship, has his "full support." Cuomo added that he also fully supports the union leaders and community activists.
► The mayor, along with his wife, Chirlane McCray, and Bratton met with the family of one of the slain officers, Rafael Ramos. He shook the hand of one of the officers standing post outside the house in Cypress Hills but said nothing.
Auxiliary police officers, who are unarmed but in uniform, were pulled from foot patrols until further notice.
In the wake of the killings of Ramos and Officer Wenjian Liu by Brinsley, who later committed suicide, in Bed-Stuy on Saturday, police union leaders said de Blasio has "blood on his hands."
"There's blood on many hands," Patrolmen's Benevolent Association president Pat Lynch said Saturday night outside Woodhull Hospital, where the officers were rushed in a desperate attempt to save their lives.
"That blood on the hands starts on the steps of City Hall, in the office of the mayor."
The Sergeants Benevolent Association tweeted: "The blood of 2 executed police officers is on the hands of Mayor de Blasio."
On Sunday, de Blasio appeared at St. Patrick's Cathedral along with his wife, Bratton and Chief of Department James O'Neill, for Mass where Cardinal Timothy Dolan called for calm amid the heated rhetoric.
De Blasio did not speak or address the media after the Mass.
Meanwhile, Cuomo weighed in Monday on the embattled mayor.
"The mayor has my full support. The union leaders have my full support. The community activists have my full support," he said on WNYC's "The Brian Lehrer Show." "I think Mayor de Blasio is doing the best he can under very difficult circumstances to hear all sides of the matter."
The mayor's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The killings of Ramos and Liu further widened the gulf between de Blasio and the NYPD, a rift which became pronounced since the death of Eric Garner at the hands of police.
After a grand jury decided not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo in that case, de Blasio said that he had warned his son, Dante, who is mixed race, about the dangers of interactions with police.
“We had to literally train him, as families have all over this city for decades, in how to take special care in any encounter he may have with police officers who are there to protect him,” he said at the time.
He also called the waves of protests in the wake of Garner's death "peaceful" despite increasing confrontations between police and marchers.
When two NYPD lieutenants, Phillip Chan and Patrick Sullivan, were assaulted on the Brooklyn Bridge during a march, de Blasio again drew fire for using the word "allegedly" to describe the incident.
When de Blasio arrived at Woodhull Hospital Saturday to address the media, officers in the room were caught on video turning their backs on him.
"I don't support that particular activity. I don't think it was appropriate, particularly in that setting but it's reflective of the anger of some of them," Bratton said on NBC.
At a later event at police headquarters, de Blasio said that the members of the NYPD were entitled to their opinions.
"There are 35,000 individuals [in the department]..They all have their own views," he said. "I need to support hem regardles of how they feel. And I have."
Bratton also blamed the pension system for new officers, which entitles them to 50 percent, less Social Security, if they are injured in the line of duty, for some of the anger.
Additional reporting by Philippe Theise