THE BRONX - The NYPD allegedly banned its police officers from wearing their uniforms to their fellow officer's funeral.
One officer, who wishes to remain unidentified, tells News 12 The Bronx that he and other officers were given instructions to not wear their uniforms to Officer Richard Christopher's funeral Tuesday. Christopher, 32, was stationed at the 43rd Precinct in the Bronx.
The officer says they were told during roll call they were not to wear their uniforms out of fear it "may attract negative publicity."
"I don't understand what negative publicity police officers in mourning would bring, but that's their decision," says the officer. He says he's upset Christopher's fellow officers will not be able to honor him properly by sending him off in uniform.
Christopher, also an Army veteran, died Aug. 12 after he drove the wrong way on the New York State Thruway near his home in Suffern. Witnesses say they observed Christopher deliberately make a U-turn to travel southbound on the northbound side. Moments later, he crashed head-on into an SUV, killing himself and the SUV's driver. No drugs or alcohol were found at the scene, but an investigation is still ongoing. His family says he had been fatigued and overworked in the days before the crash.
News 12 The Bronx reached out to the NYPD for comment, but did not hear back.