New York Mayor Bill de Blasio came to the defense of the New York Police after a pair of NYPD cruisers rammed into a people behind a steel barricade during a demonstration against George Floyd's murder that has sparked anger and drawn thousands to the streets in key cities across the US.
De Blasio reacted to a video clip posted on social media that showed the police SUV plowing into protesters in Brooklyn on Saturday, saying the protesters were the ones to blame for the incident.
In the footage, the protestors were seen placing a yellow barrier in front the police cruiser as the vehicle was pelted with water bottles, traffic cones and other objects as a second police SUV moved in and slowly drove bulldozed to the crowd that gathered around it.
During a late-night media briefing, the mayor addressed the incident. The mayor, as reported in CBS New York, said he has seen the video and heard about other happenings. "It is inappropriate for the protesters to surround a police vehicle and threaten the officers," he said, stressing doing such is "wrong on its face, and that has not happened in the history of protests in (New York) city."
In New York and other parts of the country, the mayor stated that the violence can be pointed to a small group of trouble-makers hell-bent on clashing with the authorities, and not on the peaceful demonstrators who want to make a statement but do not consent to the use of violence.
De Blasio went on to say that if those protesters just let the police cruisers pass and not block their way and ganged up on the vehicle, "we wouldn't be talking about this," as Daily Beast quoted him as saying.
The mayor said he will call for an independent evaluation of the police's handling of the protests, with more information to come in the next coming days. Governor Andrew Cuomo said he asked Atty. Gen. Tish James, who represented a region of Brooklyn in the New York City Council that witnessed some of Friday's riots, to carry out a probe of the police reactions.
Calls to Resign
Former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani told "Hannity" Friday that "no one feels more strongly" than him about the tragedy that befell Floyd, but stressed that the policies of Progressive Democrats are to blame for the mayhem that has ensued.
Giuliani also pointed out that (Democrat) Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and (Democrat) Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz should step down from their position after their city's police officers abandoned their precinct when rioters set it on fire, Thursday night.
With regards De Blasio, Giuliani said the mayor "is just as incapable of doing it" when it comes to protecting people's property and lives, during an interview with Hannity on Fox News.
For Mehdi Hasan, in his column at The Intercept, De Blasio should resign because he is "a moral and political disgrace," and that "he is behaving less like a leader and more like a sociopath."