The Eric Garner case is among the most racially divisive episodes of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s tenure, and so far, he is getting mixed reviews, with some praising him for his handling while others have sharp criticism, reported the Wall Street Journal.
De Blasio has pledged over and over to heal relations between police and minority communities. President Barack Obama on Thursday called the mayor and commended him for allowing allowing protestors to engage in peaceful and productive demonstrations.
But Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, criticized the mayor for not voicing support for Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo, the cop who wrestled Garner to the ground to via the use of an illegal chokehold that ultimately killed him.
“We did not hear that you cannot go out and break the law. What we did not hear is that you cannot resist arrest. That’s a crime,” said Lynch. “If the mayor wants to change policies, and wants us to stand down against crime, then say that.”
However, whether or not Garner was stopped for allegedly selling illegal cigarettes is still in question. And Lynch failed to mention the officer also was breaking the law through the use of a chokehold.
“I never get caught up in what critics say, particularly if they are doing it for their own agenda,” said the mayor. “The people of the city saw a man die who shouldn’t have died. It’s as simple as that.”
“It’s important to speak to that reality, particularly when it’s not an isolated reality.”