During this past Saturday’s services for fallen NYPD Officer Wenjian Liu, officers again turned their backs on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio as he stood to speak.

The silent protest did not please Mr. Mayor, and now he’s speaking out against the officers who chose to pivot away from the stage and screens.

Mediaite has video of De Blasio’s remarks:

The mayor said he didn’t think it was appropriate, nor “the right and decent thing to do,” considering the back-turning takes away from the officers being honored and their mourning families:

“Those individuals who took certain actions this last week––or last two weeks, really––they were disrespectful to the families involved. That’s the bottom line. They were disrespectful to the families who had lost their loved one. And I can’t understand why anyone would do such a thing in a context like that.”

De Blasio added it was also disrespectful to the people of New York.

You can also watch here (embedded), via the Daily Mail:

According to the New York Times, talks between city and police officials broke down last week, which could explain the continued tension between the NYPD and de Blasio:

Last week, the mayor sat down with police union leaders, and though the talk was cordial, neither side acknowledged turning a corner. On Friday, [Commissioner William J.] Bratton sent a memo across the Police Department asking officers not to turn away from the mayor on Sunday, calling it an “act of disrespect” that distracted from the memory of the two killed officers. But he did not make the request an order, and he said no one would be punished for not heeding it.

After the funeral on Sunday, the mayor’s office declined to address the issue of turned backs. The department’s top spokesman did not return calls seeking comment.

But Edward D. Mullins, the president of the sergeants’ union, said the turned backs represented “a real problem that exists between the police and City Hall.”

I almost never chastise politicians for defending themselves, but in this case, I’m going to. What we’re seeing here isn’t a difference in perspective on department policy, or a disagreement about the best way to handle anti-police sentiment. This is a deeply personal battle raging between city hall, and a large group of people who have seen their colleagues gunned down, and don’t feel supported by city officials.

The optics on this are terrible no matter how you size it up, and anything de Blasio does right now to try to mitigate damage done to his image is going to look like an offensive play against a grieving NYPD.

It may not be the most politically advantageous move to make, but de Blasio should make it nonetheless: let them grieve. The spin cycle can wait.