Capital New York:
During a closed-door meeting with Mayor Bill de Blasio last week, the city's police union leaders asked the mayor to denounce what they perceived as anti-police actions by City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, according to Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association.
In a radio interview with Joe Piscopo on Monday, Mullins said the union presidents voiced displeasure to the mayor about Mark-Viverito donning an "I can't breathe!" T-shirt to protest a Staten Island grand jury's decision not to indict an officer in the death of Eric Garner.
Mark-Viverito and many other council members wore the shirts at a Council meeting last month, shortly after about 20 members staged a "die-in" outside City Hall to protest the decision. (Mark-Viverito did not participate in that demonstration.)
Mullins called the meeting with de Blasio a "golden opportunity" for the mayor to improve his broken relationship with police unions, but said de Blasio defended Mark-Viverito, his close political ally.
"He defended it with—they have a First Amendment right, she's not his puppet, and that she felt very strongly about a grand jury decision," Mullins said on the AM970 show "The Answer."
"What he did was he reasoned her actions. But the question was would you denounce her actions, and he didn't answer that," Mullins said.
Do ya think that perhaps it was the fact that deBlasio handpicked Viverito as Speaker and then proceeded to not veto anything she and her council minions passed that made the police union think that he'd hold some sway over her.
And there's a split in the Council with regard to how to proceed with police reform bills.