By LOUIS FLORES
In a move designed to appease his critics within the New York Police Department, Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-New York City) on Wednesday denounced some of the protest chants used by some, more radical police reform activists as "sick."
“They may have a constitutional right to chant their chants, but they're wrong,” Mayor de Blasio said, according to a report in The New York Daily News.
Ever since a Staten Island grand jury voted not to file criminal charges against NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo over the chokehold homicide of Eric Garner, Mayor de Blasio has been under fire by rank and file NYPD officers, including their union leaders, for blaming the NYPD for the race-based policing, known as "Broken Windows" tactics, that Mayor de Blasio himself compels the police department to prosecute.
Mayor de Blasio's escalated rhetoric denouncing protesters came exactly one week after he had issued a statement denouncing the deadly attack on freedom of speech at the Parisian weekly newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, in which the mayor resolved that he would "refuse to be intimidated or allow cowardly violent attacks to undermine free speech,” according to a report by MSNBC.
It's unclear if Mayor de Blasio only defends free speech that stirs controversy when it lampoons religion, like Islam, which was amongst the faiths, politics, and aspects of culture that the journalists at Charlie Hebdo were known to address. In the wake of the deadly attack on Charlie Hebdo, the de Blasio administration may green light the ramping up of surveillance of Muslims by the NYPD, according to a report in The Village Voice.
Mayor de Blasio is under pressure from former mayor Rudolph Giuliani (R-New York City) to reverse the decision to have ended a Muslim surveillance unit.
The press office for City Hall did not immediately answer a request for comment.
Separately, the de Blasio administration is also under fire for continuing to defend the NYPD in a lawsuit over violations of constitutional and civil rights of innocent Muslims, who were the targets of surveillance by the NYPD.