By Elaine Magliaro
Earlier today, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio talked with George Stephanopolous on ABC’s This Week. During his appearance on the show, Mayor de Blasio declined to say whether he agreed with the decision of a Staten Island grand jury not to indict NYPD officer Daniel Panteleo in the choking death of Eric Garner. He said that he respected the judicial process–but added that “the death of Mr. Garner and other similar incidents in Ferguson, Mo., and Cleveland, Ohio, underscored the need for a broader national conversation about the actions of law enforcement officials and their interactions with minorities.”
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you respect the grand jury’s decision.
DE BLASIO: Respect the process.
But the point here is we have a whole series of things we have to do to change the dynamics in our city. This is true all over the country. We have to retrain police forces in how to work with communities differently. We have to work on things like body cameras that would provide different level of transparency and accountability.
This is something systemic. And we bluntly have to talk about the historic racial dynamics underlie this.
De Blasio went on to say that those in public service “who have an opportunity to change policies and approaches have to do that. This is not about one case, it’s about something bigger that has to be addressed. And part of what I tried to say the night of the decision is that we have to have an honest conversation in this country about a history of racism. We have to have an honest conversation about the problem that has caused parents to feel their children may be in danger in their dynamics with police when the police are there to protect them.”
He added that in New York City, they have begun “that process in earnest with a series of policy changes that will really reach people on the streets.”
When asked to respond to some of the things that former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani had said recently about crime in Black communities, de Blasio said, “I think he fundamentally misunderstands the reality. We’re trying to bring police and community together. There is a problem here. There is a rift here that has to be overcome. You cannot look at the incident in Missouri, another incident in Cleveland, Ohio and another incident in New York City all happening in the space of weeks and act like there’s not a problem. There’s something fundamental we have to get at here.”
De Blasio added:
And it’s not going to be helped by accusing either the community or the police of having bad intention or not doing their job. In fact, I think everyone is trying to do their job.
Mayor Bill de Blasio on ABC’s This Week:
Click here to read the program transcript.
Bill De Blasio Explains Why His Son Needs To Be Careful Around Cops (Huffington Post)
‘This Week’ Transcript: Mayor Bill de Blasio (ABC News)