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New Yorkers marked the assassination of two police officers with a moment of silence on Tuesday as Mayor Bill de Blasio pressed the divided city to come together in their memory.

“Please embrace those around you as a symbol of our belief that we will move forward together,” said the mayor after the silence marking the moment when two officers were shot in an ambush on Saturday. He repeated his calls for the city to focus on the families of the officers slain in the shooting he called an attack on democracy and on every single New Yorker.

New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton took to the airways Tuesday morning to defend his department as some disgruntled police and De Blasio called a truce in their battle over responsibility for the shootings and recent anti-police protests to allow New York to mourn its dead.

“We're in a very difficult place at the moment,” Bratton said on “CBS This Morning,” adding, “in the sense of officers' feelings about the demonstrations, about the anti-police mood that seems to be sweeping the country of late, and it's not easy being a cop in America today, the dangers that still exist despite crime having gone down fairly dramatically over the last 20 years.”

Bratton, whose city is mourning the weekend shootings of Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, defended his department and the man who rehired him, De Blasio, whose standing with police has never been high and has ebbed in the last year as programs such as stop-and-frisk were ended.

“It's a tough job, as we've seen, in some instances, a thankless job,” Bratton said. “Despite that, I'll speak for my city — they've done a remarkable job, they're keeping crime down, they've been restrained when face-to-face with demonstrators, you know, 'Kill the cops' and the language that's directed at them.”

Bratton was referring to a series of demonstrations that began when a grand jury decided not to indict a Ferguson, Mo., police officer in the shooting of an unarmed black man, Michael Brown. The demonstrations accelerated when a Staten Island grand jury late last month decided not to indict a New York officer who used a chokehold to subdue Eric Garner, an unarmed black man. Garner died after the confrontation.

Despite calls from New York’s governor, the city’s mayor and others calling for restraint, hundreds of protesters marched through Midtown Manhattan Tuesday night, with some holding signs saying “Jail Killer Cops.”

The protesters kept to the sidewalks and were mostly peaceful as they wound through the city’s shopping district.

Associated Press contributed.

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