Bill De Blasio Is Wrong To Ask New York Protesters To Quit Protesting

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 25: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio holds a press conference in an elementary school gym on February 25, 2014 in New York City. De Blasio released details on his plan to implement universal pre-K in the next two years. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Source: John Moore/Getty Images News/Getty Images

On Monday, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Bill de Blasio called for a stop to protests after two NYPD officers were shot on Saturday. Just a few hours before the mayor's speech, police commissioner William Bratton said that the officers' slaying was a "direct spinoff of this issue," in reference to the protests.

In de Blasio's speech at the Police Athletic League in Manhattan, he asked that people place their priorities on the officers' families. 

That should be our only concern, how we support them.

And yes, he's right. Where possible, there should be an outpouring of support for the officers who were killed senselessly. But it was something else that de Blasio said in the speech that has ignited the Internet.  

Put aside protests. That can be for another day.

When is that day, exactly? And why is it that when it involves black lives, it's OK to put things on the back burner out of respect? To ask people who are rightfully angered to stop exercising rights guaranteed to them by the Constitution? 

This could be some pretty pitiful back pedaling from de Blasio, who has come under fire since the Saturday shooting as being anti-cop. The mayor has even been blamed for the incident entirely. That, of course, is the rhetoric of far-right wackos, but it apparently has the mayor running scared. 

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Unfortunately, the way de Blasio has presented the situations is his way of drawing a link between them where one doesn't belong. It is OK to think that the slaying of two cops is tragic and still recognize that there is a systematic oppression of black citizens by law enforcement. It does not make either side wholly right or wrong. But do you know what isn't OK? Asking people to bend to your will because you have faced blowback from a horrible situation. If Bill de Blasio's call to stop protests is effective — which it won't be — the only thing he will have accomplished is flouting the Constitution. 

Images: Getty Images

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