NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Mayor Bill de Blasio says New York City’s plan to paint “Black Lives Matter” on the street in front of Trump Tower is meant to send a message to President Donald Trump and the rest of the world.
“Painting ‘Black Lives Matter’ outside his home is a message to him that Black lives in fact do matter,” de Blasio said Friday. “In fact, that Black people built New York City, that they’ve never been compensated for all they did, that all the mistakes, the sins, everything in American history that has afflicted Black people have not been accounted for and must be accounted for – something he does not understand.
“So it is right to take the eyes of the world, the attention of the world right there on Fifth Avenue and focus on Black Lives Matter,” he added.
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The city officially announced the location Wednesday, prompting a response from the president on Twitter.
“Bill de Blasio wants to paint the fabled & beautiful Fifth Avenue, right in front of Trump Tower/Tiffany, with a big yellow Black Lives Matter sign,” President Trump posted Thursday. “Pigs in a Blanket, Fry ‘Em Like Bacon”, referring to killing Police, is their chant. NYC Police are furious!”
Told that @NYCMayor Bill de Blasio wants to paint the fabled & beautiful Fifth Avenue, right in front of Trump Tower/Tiffany, with a big yellow Black Lives Matter sign. “Pigs in a Blanket, Fry ‘Em Like Bacon”, referring to killing Police, is their chant. NYC Police are furious!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 25, 2020
As The Associated Press reports, that chant has not been common at protests in New York or elsewhere since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
De Blasio announced earlier this month the city would paint “Black Lives Matter” on streets in each of the five boroughs.
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Mayor spokesperson Julia Arredondo said work is expected to start on the Midtown one in the coming week. The location was not on the city’s original list.
The president has spent little time at Trump Tower since taking office. He changed his official residence to Florida last year, but his business empire is still headquartered there.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)