Even though New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has threatened to fine religious gatherings and businesses who re-open before he says so, he is now okay with the often-violent demonstrations over the death of George Floyd, who died in a police-involved incident.
“I want to just say anyone who wants to protest, we’re going to protect your right to protest, but please also respect [that] the cop in front of you did not create the problem,” de Blasio told listeners to “The Brian Lehrer Show” on WNYC radio.
The New York Post reported that de Blasio “was referring to the hundreds of activists who gathered in Lower Manhattan Thursday — in violation of the city’s pandemic lockdown rules — in the latest national demonstration sparked in the days since a handcuffed Floyd, who was black, died after a white police officer held him to the ground with a knee to his neck in Minneapolis.”
“While many protesters in the city wore protective face masks, they largely flouted social-distancing rules,” the Post continued. “Over 70 demonstrators were arrested including for criminal possession of a weapon and assaulting officers.”
De Blasio then urged police to respond to rioters with “a light touch.”
“I want to see a light touch because people are undeniably angry for a reason,” he said, according to the Post.
More from the Post:
De Blasio said nothing about the demonstrators violating city and state rules against large gatherings, even though he insisted earlier this month that rallies “spread the disease and help kill people.”
At the time, Blasio said gatherings, including the small reopen protest, are prohibited.
“We’re not allowing any kind of gathering, period,” the mayor said at a press briefing.
“I don’t care if it’s 20 people or a hundred people or a thousand people, it’s not going to be allowed. So the point is, if you gather, NYPD is coming there to give you a summons and if you resist, to arrest you, period, across all communities.”
“So no, of course this organization is not allowed to hold a rally that goes against every rule we’ve got. They can express themselves online. There’s all sorts of other ways, but if they attempt to hold a rally, they will be summonsed immediately, and that’s true for people of any viewpoint. We’re not doing rallies at this point. They spread the disease and help to kill people. It’s unacceptable,” he said.
As is typical with the media and Democrat politicians, riots that lead to burning vehicles and buildings, as well as looting and violence, are allowed and even praised, while actual peaceful protests are condemned.
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