At a funeral Saturday for slain New York City police officer Rafael Ramos, some NYPD members turned their backs in protest to Mayor Bill de Blasio. Mayor de Blasio was one of the speakers at Ramos' funeral. The officers staged the protest after Mayor de Blasio revealed a conversation he had had with his son, Dante, about safe interactions with law enforcement.

In the wake of the death of New Yorker Eric Garner at the hands of law enforcement — and a grand jury's decision not to put an officer on trial in the case — Mayor de Blasio has been thrust into the role of peacemaker between citizens and law enforcement. With the deaths of Officers Ramos and Wenjian Liu, that role has gotten trickier.

"He does seem to be caught between this role of activist, and mayor," the Rev. Irene Monroe said Monday on Boston Public Radio. "He has to kind of bridge that in a way that he does not have his men in blue turn their backs on him" like they did Saturday.

Rev. Monroe said the officers' killings were incorrectly cast as racially-motivated. "This is an issue of mental illness, and we're not looking at that for what it is," Monroe said. Ramos and Liu's shooter attempted suicide a year earlier, and had suffered from apparent mental illness.

The Rev. Emmett G. Price III said the NYPD protests at Ramos' funeral — as well as ongoing protests across the US — make it tougher for both sides to see common ground. "I don't think there's a conversation. (...) You can't have a debate when tensions are so high."

Boston Public Radio cohost Jim Braude wondered whether there will ever be a conversation on race. Rev. Price thought so. "It's going to happen. It has to happen," Price said. "We're so afraid of everything that we don't move when we need to move. (...) It's not going to happen from the White House. (...) It's going to bubble up from the streets." 

Price said people of color need to have a more significant voice, too. "People who have been in the privileged seat (...) have to stand down and be followers at a certain point, and that becomes very difficult."

On a light-hearted note, both Price and Monroe thought the next James Bond could ably be played by a person of color. The issue came to light recently in a series of leaked emails from Sony executives, who were discussing whether to cast actor Idris Elba in the Bond role. Radio host Rush Limbaugh thought Elba wasn't appropriate for the role, because every actor tapped to play the fictional character has been white.

Both Price and Monroe disagreed. Price said Elba would "absolutely" excel in the role. Monroe agreed. "He's 6'3, tall, dark chocolate, and ever-so-fly."

>> To hear the entire conversation, click the audio above. Emmett G. Price III is a professor of music at Northeastern University, and the author of The Black Church and Hip Hop Culture. Irene Monroe is a syndicated religion columnist who writes for Huffington Post and Bay Windows.