Bill de Blasio

De Blasio’s double standard on police brutality

The NYC mayor thinks Minneapolis should do what New York didn’t.

Protesters at City Hall on May 28th demonstrating against the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers.

Protesters at City Hall on May 28th demonstrating against the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. noamgalai/Shutterstock

Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer who allegedly suffocated George Floyd to death during an arrest, by pinning Floyd’s neck to the ground with his knee, was arrested Friday and charged with murder. The Minneapolis police department had already fired Chauvin on Tuesday, along with the three other officers who were at the scene of Floyd’s death – none of whom intervened while Floyd pleaded “I can’t breathe.”

Floyd’s death – another black man who died while being arrested by a white police officer – has been condemned by civil rights activists, liberals and people of color across the country. 

But when New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted his outrage at the incident calling for all the officers involved to be charged immediately, many New Yorkers saw the bandwagon-jumping as hypocrisy. 

“As if we don't remember your lack of leadership with the death of Eric Garner,” responded Brandon West, a City Council candidate in Brooklyn. “Don't insult us.”

“You are an absolutely disgusting bootlicker & phony. #EricGarner was killed by an NYPD cop & you let that cop continue collecting a paycheck for years afterward,” activist journalist Ashoka Jegroo tweeted. “NYPD has killed numerous people since then & you didn't care at all. Disarm & defund the NYPD!”

“Sit this one out, pal,” wrote journalist Harry Siegel.

In what has come to feel like typical de Blasio fashion, it’s been much easier for de Blasio to call for swift action in Minnesota than it has been for him to take swift action on police brutality in his own city. The video of Eric Garner’s death at the hands of the NYPD in 2014 seems to be seared into the nation’s memory. Like Floyd, Garner was a black man held on the ground, with pressure on his neck, during an arrest. And, just like Floyd, Garner’s death, as he gasped “I can’t breathe,” was captured on film. 

But the government’s reaction in New York was nowhere near as quick or as decisive as that in Minneapolis this week. Then-Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan declined to charge Daniel Pantaleo, who put Garner in a chokehold, and instead brought the case to a grand jury. That grand jury, on cop-friendly Staten Island, didn’t find cause to indict him, and the whole process lasted until December – nearly five months after Garner’s death. Pantaleo did eventually get fired for his role in Garner’s death, but it took more than five years, during which time Pantaleo was paid to do a desk job. None of the other officers at the scene were criminally charged or fired. A sergeant, Kizzy Adonis, lost 20 vacation days

All the while, de Blasio never called for swift justice in the way he now has after Floyd’s death. He promised “a full and thorough investigation of the circumstances of this tragic incident,” the day after Garner’s death. Though de Blasio had the authority to suspend Pantaleo from the NYPD, he never did. And over those five years, the mayor never asked his NYPD commissioners to fire Pantaleo, claiming he wanted to avoid a lawsuit

On the other hand, the mayor’s detractors are misremembering if they think de Blasio didn’t in fact say anything about Garner. In fact, his comments about teaching his own black son to be careful with the police enraged many cops and the unions that represent them. They turned their backs on him after two officers were killed in an ambush attack in 2014, and he seems to have been trying to win back officers’ fleeting approval ever since

De Blasio’s fear of being seen as unfair to the cops continues to this day – as long as the incident in question happens in New York, and not Minnesota. After an NYPD officer was caught on video making a violent arrest while enforcing social distancing, de Blasio tweeted on May 3rd that “the officer involved has been placed on modified duty and an investigation has begun.” While the incident may not have been as egregious as the Floyd arrest, and the man who was being arrested did not die, it was essentially the same response that de Blasio gave to Garner’s death, six years ago.

But some things may be changing. In an interview on “The Brian Lehrer Show” Friday, de Blasio conceded that he should have taken action more quickly after Garner’s death. And if it were to happen again, he’d “want to see charges acted on immediately.”

Hours later, de Blasio announced that the officers involved in the social distancing arrest in Manhattan would face internal charges. The victim, Donni Wright, has further called for the Manhattan district attorney to bring criminal charges against Francisco Garcia, the officer who arrested him. De Blasio has not.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.