NEW YORK, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was heckled and booed when he spoke during a graduation ceremony for police officers Monday.
Two days after officers turned their backs on de Blasio during the funeral for slain NYPD officer Rafael Ramos, about six people out of thousands in the audience turned their backs to the mayor on Monday, according to The New York Times. A few appeared to be in uniform.
Nearly 900 cadets attended the ceremony at Madison Square Garden where the mayor reinforced the message that the safety of police officers is a priority.
Mayor de Blasio booed and heckled at NYC police academy graduation http://t.co/Xi9vjUfoNn— TIME.com (@TIME) December 29, 2014
"It's our job to protect you," de Blasio said. "It takes a special kind of person to put their lives on the line for others."
When de Blasio said cadets would "confront problems you didn't create," a heckler yelled "You did!" at the mayor, drawing applause.
New York City Police Commissioner William J. Bratton also addressed the candidates during a tense time ignited by the grand jury decision not to indict an officer involved in Eric Garner's chokehold death and the ambush slaying of two New York City officers.
"We are at a very difficult time in this country, in this city, and in this department," Bratton said. "You have the opportunity with that badge on your chest to do extraordinary things."