New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was booed and heckled by an irate crowd at a memorial for George Floyd in Brooklyn Thursday after declining to call out police violence in the city the night before.
An event organizer, Rev. Kevin McCall, introduced the increasingly unpopular pol, asking the crowd for “respect” as people turned their backs and started to boo loudly. They quieted as de Blasio’s wife Chirlane McCray took the mic instead. “We want to hear from my partner, my partner in all things, and I ask you to give him the same respect you give me,” she said.
They didn’t. The mayor talked anyway, barely audible over catcalls and chants of “I can’t breathe” and “resign.”
“George Floyd cannot be allowed to die in vain. We have to make a change in this city and this country” – with changes in the NYPD too, he said. “We need peaceful change in this city once and for all.”
De Blasio spoke for about 90 seconds, then gave up.
His comments earlier in the day drew ire. At a press briefing, he said he’d seen “a lot of restraint from the NYPD overall and would review whatever was needed. De Blasio said at the briefing that he hadn’t yet seen the footage of police officers using batons on protesters Wednesday night. “In the context of crisis, in the context of curfew, there is a point where enough is enough,” he said, “If officers say, ‘Now is the point we need you to go home,’ it’s time to go home.”
Hank Newsome, local president of Black Lives Matter, demanded de Blasio’s resignation and Governor Andrew Cuomo — the mayor’s frequent sparring partner — mentioned he had the vested power to “displace” him.
New York City Councilman Eric Ulrich tweeted Thursday morning. “@NYCMayor has lost control of the situation.” He said he would call for a vote of no confidence in the City Council.
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