To the Editor:
Re “Silent Protest as 2nd Officer Is Laid to Rest” (front page, Jan. 5):
When a group of responding officers can’t subdue an agitated, unarmed man being arrested for a nonviolent offense without killing him, the New York Police Department has a training and supervision problem that needs fixing.
Instead of even a minimal recognition of the problem and the broken relationship between the police and minority communities, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, rank-and-file cops and pandering politicians have opted to lash out at Mayor Bill de Blasio as “anti-cop” because he made balanced statements respectful of both the police and peaceful protesters.
Officers who turned their backs on their civilian commander in chief at the funerals for Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu committed shocking acts of public insubordination — a troubling statement that this local and national problem will get worse long before it gets better.
ROBERT M. SALZMAN
Brooklyn, Jan. 5, 2015
But Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, wanted to press another point.
With Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, sitting a few feet away, Mr. Reid complained that Senate Republicans were spitefully blocking the confirmation of dozens of Mr. Obama’s nominees to serve as ambassadors. He expected that the president would back him up and urge Mr. McConnell to relent.
Mr. Obama quickly dismissed the matter.
“You and Mitch work it out,” Mr. Obama said coolly, cutting off any discussion.
Mr. Reid seethed quietly for the rest of the meeting, according to four separate accounts provided by people who spoke with him about it. After his return to the Capitol that afternoon, Mr. Reid told other senators and his staff members that he was astonished by how disengaged the president seemed. After all, these were Mr. Obama’s own ambassadors who were being blocked by Mr. McConnell, and Secretary of State John Kerry had been arguing for months that getting them installed was an urgent necessity for the administration.