Mayor Bill de Blasio at 195 Cadman Plaza West in Brooklyn on Monday, May 25, 2020.
The best thing Mayor Bill could do is resign, ride off into the sunset.
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De Blasio staffers pen letter slamming mayor’s handling of NYC protests and criminal justice failures
About 200 current and former staffers of Mayor de Blasio are assembling an open letter that criticizes his handling of recent protests — the latest misstep, they say in a series of failures to reform policing of communities of color.
“A lot of us in this administration joined because the mayor was very vocal, in a sincere way, and focused on police accountability, on advocating [and] fighting specifically for black lives,” Christopher Collins-McNeil, who previously worked in the Mayor’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, told the Daily News on Wednesday.
“He hasn’t. He’s failed at step after step, juncture after juncture since the beginning,” he added.
The letter, expected to be published Wednesday, calls out the mayor for failing to quickly fire Daniel Pantaleo, the officer who placed Eric Garner in a deadly chokehold in 2014; letting the NYPD’s budget balloon even as crime has dropped during his administration; refusing to end the use of solitary confinement in city jails; and a litany of other grievances.
The tipping point for the staffers came when the mayor strongly defended aggressive policing during protests sparked by the death of George Floyd over the weekend.
“We definitely don’t take pleasure in calling him out but we find that it’s necessary at this point,” said Essence Franklin, who left the Mayor’s Office of Economic Opportunity in December and has been organizing the letter with Collins-McNeil.
“We hope that this will again get the mayor’s attention because we have a responsibility to hold city government accountable,” she added.
The letter includes a list of action items based on expert research, Collins-McNeil and Franklin said.
The points include slashing the NYPD budget, firing police officers who used excessive force and the creation of an independent commission to investigate the mayor and NYPD’s response to protests in May and June.
Signatories span offices within the administration, the letter organizers said.