NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Bill de Blasio‘s decision to make raising a black son and the fear of police an issue in his presidential campaign has sparked intense push-back.
CBS2’s Marcia Kramer has more on the mayor’s rocky relationship with the NYPD.
It seems like the tale of two de Blasio’s. On one hand there was hizzoner playing kissy kissy with cops at a recent NYPD graduation.
“All of you are joining a winning team,” he said. “You’re joining a champion team.”
On the other, there was de Blasio bemoaning the relationship between cops and the black community during his run at the White House. He used his son, Dante, again during last week’s Democratic debate in Miami.
“There’s something that sets me apart from all my colleagues running is this race and that is for the last 21 years I’ve been raising a black son in America,” de Blasio said.
As a political foil. First at the debate and then a Dante op-ed piece in USA Today as a way to make the need to improve community-police relations a centerpiece of his long-shot campaign. Putting Dante front and center has been credited with helping de Blasio win the mayoralty in 2013.
“Bill de Blasio will be a mayor for every New Yorker, no matter where they live or what they look like and I’d say that if he weren’t my dad,” Dante said on a commercial that aired in the summer of 2013.
And although it’s six years later, the mayor hopes it will inject new campaign magic. He spoke about Dante’s op-ed at the Rainbow Push Convention with the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
“Dante wanted to explain as a 21-year-old African-American man,” de Blasio said.
The push-back from the law enforcement community has been intense.
“Doing his campaign the way he’s doing it isn’t helpful to either side. What he does is he furthers the mistrust in communities of color and he brings bitterness of law enforcement and he creates a divisive of us-versus-them mentality,” Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins said.
Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch blamed the hostility cops face on the street on the “demonization of cops by de Blasio and other elected officials.”
Detective Union President Michael Palladino said, “While in the performance of his duties he pretends to appreciate police. But, when campaigning he tries to capitalize politically by spreading dangerous, hateful rhetoric about the police.”
And in 2019 in might not be a good political strategy.
“It’s not likely to help him in Iowa. It’s not likely to help him in New Hampshire. The gamble is that he can win in South Carolina. He shouldn’t hock the house on that,” political consultant Hank Sheinkopf said.
Mullins said if de Blasio is serious about finding ways to improve police-community relations he should meet with him and other police officials face to face. Mullins extended an invitation to the mayor and Dante for just such a sit-down.
A spokesperson for the mayor said de Blasio is in regular communication with police brass and they’re the ones helping to build trust on our streets.