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'Recognize the Pain' of Police After Dallas Shooting: Mayor to Protesters

By  Ben Fractenberg and Aidan Gardiner | July 8, 2016 2:14pm 

 Mayor Bill de Blasio, right, urged protesters to be respectful of the NYPD following murder of five police officers in Dallas.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, right, urged protesters to be respectful of the NYPD following murder of five police officers in Dallas.
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DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg

NEW YORK CITY — Mayor Bill de Blasio urged those hoping to protest police violence this weekend to "recognize the pain" NYPD officers are feeling after the murder of five police officers in Dallas Thursday night.

"I really want to urge protesters to recognize the pain that our police are going through right now," the mayor said during a press conference with NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton during a Friday afternoon press conference.

"Protesters owe it to the police to be respectful," de Blasio said. "Show some decency and respect for people who are going through so much."

The NYPD will boost the numbers of officers it deploys to protests planned for Friday and over the weekend

City officials urged understanding after the officers were killed and seven others were wounded in a sniper attack at a Dallas demonstration against violence by police.

"Forty-five years in the business and I've never seen anything like it," said a visibly solemn Bratton. 

Threats surged against the NYPD after a Minnesota woman broadcast the aftermath of a traffic stop that left her boyfriend, Philando Castile, dead and sparked national outrage, officials said.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson appeared at a press conference later Friday afternoon alongside de Blasio and Bratton to emphasize building bridges between law enforcement officers and members of the community — including protesters.

"Just like last night’s killer does not represent all those who seek to bring about change, any police officer who engages in excessive force does not represent all those in law enforcement — far from it," he said.

Since the Dallas attacks Thursday night, 17 threats have been made against the NYPD, but none appear to be credible, police said.

Bratton likened the Dallas murders to the 2014 assassination of NYPD officers Wenjian Liu, 32, and Rafael Ramos, 40.

Protesters in New York, who had up to that point been marching against the NYPD's killing of Eric Garner, softened their tone in the immediate aftermath. One group gathered near Central Park to sing "This Little Light of Mine" and pass out tea.

Demonstrators then criticized violence both by and against police, a sentiment Bratton reiterated during his Friday press conference.

"It's something we cannot tolerate. We cannot tolerate racial injustice. We cannot tolerate injustice directed toward our police force," he said.