New Yorkers were not too happy to see Mayor Bill de Blasio and first lady Chirlane McCray show up at a memorial service for George Floyd on Thursday. Arriving 20 minutes late, de Blasio and his wife were greeted with loud boos and a chant of “de Blasio, go home.”
When it was time for de Blasio to speak, Rev. Kevin McCall introduced the pair and said, “Let us welcome with respect the mayor of New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio and first lady Chirlane McCray.” Loud boos rose from the crowd. Rev. McCall took the microphone and shouted, “Again, again, again, we said respect.” He led the crowd in a chant of “Respect.” When de Blasio approached the podium, the booing began again. So his wife stepped up instead and said, “Power to the people,” which the crowd seemed to like.
When de Blasio finally began to speak, the crowd began to chant “Resign.” Shortly after that, they chanted “Turn your back,” and some of them turned away from the stage.
Finally, he gave up and handed the microphone to George Floyd’s brother, Terrence.
Terrence Floyd wore a face mask with a photo of his brother in a Yankee hat. He said, “I want to thank God. It wasn’t his fault. It was his will. I thank God for you all showing love to my brother…I’m proud of the protest, but I’m not proud of the destruction. My brother wasn’t about that.”
Mayor de Blasio has faced a great deal of criticism for his response to the riots from all directions.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, with whom the mayor has been feuding since de Blasio first won his seat in 2013, has been his most vocal critic. On Tuesday, after another night of looting and violence in New York City, Cuomo said the mayor’s performance had been a disgrace. He also said he had the power to displace him, but he wouldn’t do so at such an already chaotic time.
At his daily briefing, the governor said, “You have 38,000 NYPD people, it is the largest police department in the United States of America. Use 38,000 people and protect property. Use the police, protect property and people. Look at the videos, it was a disgrace.”
President Trump offered to send in the National Guard to assist the NYPD, which de Blasio refused. Trump told Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade, “You have a liberal mayor [in Minneapolis] that frankly was having a lot of trouble and you have a very liberal mayor in New York [City] too and you notice that all of these places that have problems are not run by Republicans, they are run by liberal Democrats, so there is something into that philosophy.”
Many on the left have criticized him for completely different reasons. They feel de Blasio has been too supportive of the NYPD.
If anything needs to be reviewed, it will be.
In the context of crisis, in the context of curfew, there is a point where enough is enough. If officers say now is the point, we need you to go home, it’s time to go home.
De Blasio has issued an 8 p.m. curfew which will be in force through Sunday night.
“Let us welcome, with respect, the mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio.”
— Dan Linden (@DanLinden) June 4, 2020
Many in crowd turn backs on de Blasio. Wow pic.twitter.com/7Fo8HA6kHB
— Matt Troutman (@ByMattTroutman) June 4, 2020
De Blasio and Chirlane McCray arrive 20 mins late. Crowd boos and chants “De Blasio, go home” when he walks across the stage pic.twitter.com/H1J62mm69o
— Rose Adams (@rose_n_adams) June 4, 2020