New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio took some power shots on the chin today. Hizzoner appearing at a memorial for George Floyd in Brooklyn on Thursday.
Reverend Kevin McCall had announced, “Let us welcome with respect the mayor of New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio and first lady Chirlane McCray.” Then following a less than warm type of reception he added, “Again, again, again, we said respect! We said respect! Say it with me, respect!”
De Blasio said, “Black lives matter in New York.” As one protester pushed back, “Not to you!” Later the Mayor stated, “George Floyd could not have died in vain,” Adding that, “We will not be about words in this city; we will be about change.” He declared, “We will make peaceful change in this city.”
An open letter signed by over 400 current and former employees in his administration expressed, “Our time in the Mayor’s Office showed us that the change we had hoped for, and fought for, might never come.”
In addition, “We saw up close the Administration’s unwillingness to challenge the abuses of the NYPD—the Mayor’s refusal to fire Daniel Pantaleo for choking the life out of Eric Garner, the continuation of the failed “Broken Windows” policing strategy that criminalizes our Black and brown communities, the rejection of even basic accountability measures like making information public about police officers accused of misconduct.”
And further, “We saw how, while crime rates are at record lows, the Administration has continued to pour money into the NYPD budget—which is now almost $1 billion larger than when De Blasio took office—heightening the over-policing of Black and brown communities.”
Plus added, “We saw the aggressive push for the construction of new borough-based jails, at a cost of $9 billion, despite activists’ cries to invest that money in jobs and alternatives to incarceration.” As well as, “The chasm between Mayor de Blasio’s promise to reform the criminal legal system and the actions of his Administration has only widened in the past year.” Along with asserting he “is on the brink of losing all legitimacy in the eyes of New Yorkers.”
Then there is an issue of De Blasio’s wife spending $900 million in taxpayer money with no record how it was used. To paraphrase “I Love Lucy” he’s got some explaining to do.