The New York City Police Department does not like the current mayor (leader) of New York City. The police seem to feel that this mayor (Mayor de Blasio) favored large groups of people who were protesting the fact that NY City police officers killed a harmless black man, instead of supporting the NY Police Department.
de Blasio's attitude is certainly different from the attitude of the last two mayors, Giuliani and Bloomberg, who often defended and made excuses for horrible things the NY police did. Indeed, a majority of New Yorkers would probably support de Blasio in this matter.
Furthermore, NY City police officers seem to be blaming de Blasio for the murder of two police officers. A mentally ill man deliberately (he chose to do this) shot two police officers in the head to get revenge for the killing of the innocent black man. The police claim that de Blasio somehow encouraged this type of action by supporting protesters and not the police.
Yet, it's pretty idiotic to assert the mayor was responsible for these deaths - why don't the cops blame the TV stations, the newspapers, the internet sources etc. that provided massive coverage of the protests by people who were angry about the NY police department? Why don't the police blame the NBA basketball players who were wearing tee shirts that said "I can't breathe!" on them? (The black man who was killed by the police kept telling the police that he couldn't breathe, but they didn't listen to him.)
So now newspapers are reporting that the NY police department is refusing to do its job. They are no longer arresting people and no longer writing out tickets for people who drive their cars too fast etc.
The funny thing is, that seems to be OK. It looks as if all of these extreme measures the police have been taking for so many years were not even needed. It looks as if the police had been over-arresting people and writing too many tickets - they are not doing their jobs, and the city is running just fine. Maybe about half of them need to be fired, because, frankly, I think there are too many police officers in New York City and apparently a lot of the work they have been doing wasn't even necessary.
An article from the BBC:
Vocabulary to help you understand the article:
arrests - an arrest is when the police take a person into custody - they take him/her to the police station and do all of the paper work for the person to then go to trial
amid - this is a preposition meaning among, inside, during
high tensions - you have a situation of high tension or tensions when two groups are unhappy with each other and each group mistrusts the other and each group is a bit afraid of what the other group might do; usually aggression can follow from a situation of high tension
heckled - if a person is heckled, that means that someone from a crowd says something nasty or insulting while a public figure is trying to talk
unions - these are organizations of workers meant to keep the rights of those workers safe and to make sure the workers are paid enough money; unions are very important in NY City politics - often if a political candidate gets enough unions to support him/her, he/she can get enough votes just from the unions to win an election
citations - these are often called 'tickets'; if a person is driving his.her car too fast, for example, a police officer might pull the person over and give him/her a citation or ticket; the person can then go to court and try to argue that he/she did not deserve the ticket
offenses - an offense is something wrong that someone did
rhetoric - words; speech
demonstrators - protesters, groups of people who are unhappy about something and who publicly express their anger or concerns
brutal - very extreme, harsh, cruel, horrible, severe
unarmed - not carrying a weapon
highlighted - to reveal more clearly, to bring extra attention to
protesters - groups of people who are unhappy about something and who publicly express their anger or concerns
respectively - one after the other
backing - supporting
mixed-race son - de Blasio is married to a black woman and so their children are part black and part white. de Blasio told his son that he needed to eb careful around the police because many NY cops are racist (hate blacks)
deliberate - choosing to do something; not accidental
Patrolmen's Benevolent Union - the police union
anti-police - against the police; anti always means against, pro means for