Society

De Blasio Slammed For Skipping Slain Cop's Vigil (Photos)

| by David Bonner
NYC Mayor Bill de BlasioNYC Mayor Bill de Blasio

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is facing criticism for skipping the vigil of a slain New York City cop.

Misostosis Familia, a 48-year-old officer, was shot in the head on July 5 while sitting in her marked vehicle in the Bronx, reports the Daily Mail.

A vigil for Familia was held on July 8, but the mayor was in Germany attending a protest at the G20 summit at Hamburg.

De Blasio left town on July 6 with little advance notice, keeping his travel plans secret, reports The New York Times.  

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Upon the mayor's departure, spokesman Eric F. Phillips said that he would be the keynote speaker at a demonstration on July 8 called "Hamburg Shows Attitude."

It was one of many protests that coincided with the G20 summit, including an anti-capitalist event called "Welcome to Hell."

An organizer of the "Hamburg Shows Attitude" event, Marcel Schweitzer, said its aim was to "stand up for democracy and human rights." In an email to The Times, he said: “We aren’t against G-20," adding that "every member of the G-20 -- including the U.S. (and especially President Donald Trump) -- has to respect the human rights charter of the United Nations."

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In de Blasio's speech at the protests, he offered an oblique criticism of the current U.S. administration. "My nation isn't broken, but my nation is going through an identity crisis," he said. "It's on its way somewhere, and I know it's somewhere good because I see what happens in the neighborhoods in my city, I see the process of change underway."

He then addressed Trump's decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate change agreement, joining Syria and Nicaragua as the world's only countries to reject it. "American cities are signed on to the Paris Accords. We will do it ourselves."

Back in New York City, Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins voiced his opposition to de Blasio's trip to  Germany. "New York City right now is mourning the loss of a police officer who was dedicated to the city of New York, and we have our mayor who's just gone to Germany to join protesters," he said. "We're not seeing any type of leadership that comes out and explains ... the police are not your enemy."

In response, de Blasio defended his decision. "All the issues that need to be attended to, I'm attending to every day, regardless of where I am," he said. "I feel so deeply for Officer Familia's family."

His spokesperson added that the mayor's trip was scheduled two weeks before Officer Familia was killed, and that he would be back in time for the funeral.

During his speech in Germany, de Blasio also gave a shout out to police. "Our right to protest is directly related to the fact that our police protect us," he told the crowd of protesters. "So help me by joining in applause and thanks for the police. There have also been great acts of bravery and restraint. Remember, our police are working men and women, too."

Sources: Daily Mail, The New York Times / Photo credit: Kevin Case/Flickr, AFP/Getty Images via Daily Mail, AP via Daily Mail

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