A top official with the New York City Police Department is advising officers to not wear their uniforms in public after two different assassination attempts on officers yesterday, according to The Daily Mail.
The order comes from Hazel Jennings, chief of the Department of Corrections, who advised in a safety memo that “if you are utilizing public transportation to traverse the city, do not wear your uniform or other items bearing the department name or logo.”
The warning followed a rampage by 45-year-old Robert Williams, a black man who was out on parole after a murder conviction in 2002. On Sunday morning, he opened fire on a patrol van in the Bronx, injuring one of two officers inside before fleeing. Then, within 12 hours, he fired at a police station in the Bronx and injured another officer before surrendering to the police. Photos later emerged of Williams handcuffed to his hospital bed.
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea lashed out at anti-police activists who have been demonstrating against the police in recent years such as the Black Lives Matter movement, saying that “we had people marching through the streets of New York City recently…words matter, and words affect people’s behavior.” Mayor Bill de Blasio also condemned the attacks and the rhetoric, declaring that “anyone who spews hatred at our police officers is aiding and abetting this kind of atmosphere. It is not acceptable.”