Mayor de Blasio made “moronic” comments Sunday that prove he “doesn’t belong” in New York, a key police union chief said, further inflaming the war of words between Hizzoner and the NYPD.
The comments from Ed Mullins, head of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, came after de Blasio reiterated his concern that his son, Dante, could be harmed by a police officer if he were to make any sudden movements in a hypothetical encounter with cops.
“What parents have done for decades who have children of color, especially young men of color, is train them to be very careful when they have …an encounter with a police officer,” de Blasio said on ABC’s “This Week.”
Mullins ripped right into de Blasio later in the day, calling his comments “really hypocritical and moronic” and suggesting the mayor get out of his own city.
“He has a security detail of New York City police officers assigned to protect his family. And yet he’s making statements that his son shouldn’t feel safe with New York City cops,” Mullins said on John Catsimatidis’ radio show on AM970.
“Ultimately, if this individual who’s in charge of running this city doesn’t have faith in his own son being protected by the NYPD, he may want to think about moving out of New York City completely. He just doesn’t belong here.”
De Blasio, who is white, gave some details of the conversations he and his wife, Chirlane, who is black, have had with their 17-year-old son, who is a senior at Brooklyn Technical High School.
“With Dante, very early on, we said, ‘Look, if a police officer stops you, do everything he tells you to do. Don’t move suddenly. Don’t reach for your cellphone,’” said deBlasio. “Because we knew, sadly, there’s a greater chance it might be misinterpreted if it was a young man of color.”
The mayor’s remarks echoed comments he made earlier after a Staten Island grand jury declined to indict a white cop who killed a black suspect with a chokehold.
“It’s different for a white child. That’s just the reality in this country,” the mayor said.
Mullins is not alone in slamming de Blasio’s comments, with Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch accusing the mayor of throwing cops “under the bus,” and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani calling de Blasio’s remarks “racist.”
Mullins also slammed the city’s handling of protests since the Eric Garner decision, saying demonstrators are “running rampant” and blocking streets. “They’re tying up bridges, roadways, storefronts. I see traffic coming to a standstill. The mayor is not representing the people in this city, the drivers that are working, the people that are trying to get home from work,” he said.
But appearing on the same show, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton defended his boss and his approach to the protests that have riven the city since the grand jury announcement last week.
Some of the protesters are “professional agitators,” Bratton said, but most are peaceful. He said there have been about 250 to 280 arrests, including several for assaulting cops.
“The restraint (cops) are showing is remarkable. I wish some of the protesters, the professional agitators and the anarchists, would show the same restraint,” he said. “But the vast majority, the real citizens in the city, they’re demonstrating. It’s their First Amendment right. They have tied up traffic, but it’s New York City. Traffic’s tied up all the time.”
He said protests would be allowed to continue as long as they remain nonviolent.
In a separate interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Bratton said he will make the final decision on what will happen to the Garner case officer, Daniel Pantaleo, after an NYPD investigation.
“I don’t think anybody that watches that video is not disturbed by what they saw. That policing involving use of force — it always looks awful. We have an expression — lawful but awful,” he said.
Bratton, who has also led police departments in Boston and Los Angeles, defended de Blasio. “This mayor, my mayor, Bill de Blasio, is probably one of the best I’ve ever worked with,” he said.
With Adam Edelman