The silence is almost deafening. Where are the critics of NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio now?
The pundits, and so called experts questioned why de Blasio, a liberal Democrat, would hold a City Hall Blue Room event with his Police Commissioner, Bill Bratton, on one side, and give a live microphone to the Rev. Al Sharpton on the other, where Rev. Sharpton embarrassed the mayor, and said the mayor's bi-racial son Dante (with his large afro hairstyle, that played very well to get the mayor elected) would be a "candidate for a chokehold," if he were not the mayor's son.
The critics had a field day, blasting de Blasio. Plastered on page one of the NY Post the next day was the headline, "Who's the Boss," with a photo of Bratton, de Blasio, and of course Sharpton.
Police were so enraged that as a gag, there was a fake I.D. making the rounds. One where Sharpton's photo was on it. Sharpton was elevated from number one critic of police brutality, to the title of Police Commissioner on the identification. De Blasio was even taking to task in the lead sentence of an Associated Press story.
Police have become increasingly at odds with Mayor Bill de Blasio over the appearance he is taking sides against them after the chokehold death of a black suspect last month -- a conflict that has prompted the city's top law enforcement official to do damage control by calling the mayor "very pro-cop."
The Michael Brown situation in Missouri is extremely alarming and heartbreaking at the same time.
From one autopsy report that shows Brown was shot six times (why is the public only receiving this information a week later and from legal team of Brown's family) to the looting, and to the police chief, there that has proven he is not ready for prime time. and has made a strong argument that City leaders should relieve him of his duties -- permanently and effective immediately for the good of the community. One of my colleagues on TV, former New York Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, compared the situation in Missouri to Bull Conner who of course was the infamous police chief during the anti-segregation protests in downtown Birmingham Alabama. (You can see the TV segment here,)
But I return to my original premise.
Where are Mayor de Blasio's critics on the NY situation now where there is even a video with Eric Garner saying repeatedly he could not breath as police attempted to arrest him, and an apparent NYPD illegal choke-hold was used?
A lot of people have been asking why was there violence in Ferguson Missouri, but not in NYC.
- First off, New York officials got out in front of the situation quickly.
- The Mayor and Police Commissioner Bratton immediately said it appeared to them that an illegal choke hold had been used on Eric Garner.
- The Mayor put off his Europe vacation for a day, and even reached out to Garner's family.
Of equal importance, and granted, it did not sit well with the police community and police unions, but Rev. Al Sharpton's message representing the family of Eric Garner was unfiltered by City Leaders. The same new mayor (de Blasio) did not try to meet with Sharpton in private, and then "spin" the situation. De Blasio by meeting with Sharpton, and letting him have his say, reassured communities of color and thus lowered the temperature in New York. The NY Times is even now praising Deblasio's handling of the situation.
There, of course, is still outrage at what happened to Eric Garner, but as of this writing, NY communities of color have taken a wait and see approach as to the investigation, and it is reassuring to these communities to know that Sharpton is top of the situation.
In light of Missouri, do the critics still think NY Mayor Bill de Blasio is weak and that he caved in to Sharpton? Or perhaps, did de Blasio's actions avert violence? Maybe de Blasio should be in Missouri to help there.