New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday skipped an NYPD swearing-in ceremony, made especially poignant by this week’s assassination-style murder of a female police officer in the Bronx, so he could attend an anti-Trump protest in Germany.
According to the New York Post, de Blasio was too busy preparing for his surprise trip to Germany where he plans to join leftist protesters at the G-20 summit on Saturday.
Hizzoner’s overseas jaunt was kept under wraps until just 90 minutes before he took off from Newark Airport. A last-minute announcement said he “will attend several events surrounding the G-20 Summit, including Saturday’s Hamburg Zeigt Haltung rally.”
The Marxist mayor is scheduled to take part in a rally and will return to New York City Sunday.
The rally’s organizers are reportedly paying for the mayor’s trip. Hamburg Shows Attitude is also picking up the tab for de Blasio spokesman Eric Phillips and two other aides.
Organizers of the event in Hamburg tweeted that they were paying for de Blasio’s trip to Hamburg but did not specify the cost of the trip. Security and overtime costs are typically paid for by the taxpayers.
“We can confirm: we pay for the travel because it’s worth to not just hear the voice of President Trump in Germany these days,” event organizers tweeted.
A German website did not list de Blasio as one of the celebrities attending the demonstration, however.
Numerous personalities of Hamburg support the event. In addition to the already mentioned Green politicians Anjes Tjarks, Corny Littmann , football coach Ewald Lienen (FC St. Pauli), Thalia director Joachim Lux, ballet director John Neumeier and actress Nina Petri.
A longer list of people participating in the event is here. The mayor did not make that list, either.
According to the Hamburg Zeigt Haltung website, protesters are concerned about “worldwide development of exclusion, religious intolerance, violence, attacks on freedom of the press and minorities, a new nationalism and authoritarian behavior, as well as contempt for women.”
To solve the problems of the world, we need no new nationalism, but more cross-border cooperation. We need no opposites, but constructive coexistence. We need a modern, democratic and cosmopolitan policy. In this sense we want to set a sign:
We stand for human rights and humanity, for a policy of communion and peaceful coexistence. We show flag for women’s rights and equality, for diversity and tolerance, for respect, an open society and freedom of the press. For our values and our principles – for a colorful world.
Lutheran bishop Kirsten Fehrs of Hamburg said supporters of the demonstration were not opposed to the G-20 summit itself, but to certain participating leaders.
“I am referring to Mr Putin and Mr Erdogan, but also to Presidents Xi and Trump and the representative of the Saudi regime. All stand for an attitude that we find unacceptable and do not want to accept, “Bishop Fehrs said.
De Blasio’s presumptive Republican challenger, Nicole Malliotakis, accused the mayor of “abandoning pressing issues in the Big Apple to pursue his progressive agenda in Europe.”
“Unbelievable. Instead of jet-setting around the world, he should be here doing his job,” said the Staten Island assemblywoman. “A police officer was murdered, street homelessness has skyrocketed and people continue to get delayed on the trains.”
Malliotakis — who later tweeted a doctored image showing de Blasio in an Alpine hat and lederhosen, grinning behind a plate of bratwursts, wienerschnitzel and Pilsner glasses — also blasted him for blowing off the NYPD ceremony at the Police Academy in Queens.
“The mayor should be embarrassed by the way he has treated the men and women of our police department,” she said.
The head of the NYPD sergeants union also attacked de Blasio.
“As the city mourns, its leader flees,” Ed Mullins said. “And then he wonders why he has a problem with the police. A real leader stays with the city in this time of hardship.”
Less than five hours before de Blasio’s flight to Berlin, NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill offered reassurance to 524 new recruits in the wake of Wednesday’s slaying of Officer Miosotis Familia.
The 12-year veteran and mom of three was shot in the back of the head by cop-hating ex-con Alexander Bonds, who opened fire through the window of a mobile command-center vehicle.
O’Neill told the recruits he was sure many family members “are questioning whether you’re making the right decision, especially after yesterday’s tragedy in The Bronx.”
“I’m here to tell you, you are making the right decision,” he insisted.
Asked why de Blasio — who spent the day holed up at Gracie Mansion — didn’t join O’Neill to help rally the recruits, spokesman Eric Phillips replied: “Scheduling conflicts.”
Familia’s sister, Adriana Sanchez, on Thursday lashed out at de Blasio, saying that “the mayor has to do something for this madness to stop.” She said that windows on NYPD vehicles should have been made bulletproof “a long time ago.”
According to the Post, “City Hall announced a $1.3 million plan to outfit all NYPD command vehicles used by uniform personnel with bullet-resistant window panels among other safety upgrades” after de Blasio’s departure.
Investigators on Thursday released chilling surveillance video of the ambush shooting.