New York Mayor Bill de Blasio says one of his predecessors in the office, Rudolph Giuliani, doesn’t get the problems that black men face with the police.
“I think he fundamentally misunderstands reality,” de Blasio said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”
De Blasio said he can’t look at recent incidents in Ferguson, Missouri, Cleveland, Ohio and New York City all happening within a space of weeks and think there’s not a fundamental problem of how police treat young, black men.
“A lot of voices on both ends of the spectrum want to keep us mired in a history that hasn’t worked for us,” he said.
Giuliani correctly said two weeks ago on “Meet the Press” and again last week on “Fox News Sunday” that arguments like de Blasio’s ignore the bigger problem of black-on-black crime.
De Blasio disagreed. While he wouldn’t talk about the recent grand jury decision not to indict a white police officer in Staten Island, because he said he respects the legal process, he did add, “This is something systemic, and we bluntly have to talk about the historic racial dynamics that underlie this.”
Leaders such as himself have to try to change the relationship between minorities and police, he said.
“This is not about one case. This is about something bigger that has to be addressed,” he said.
De Blasio angered many with his comments following the grand jury decision in the death of Eric Garner. Patrick Lynch, president of Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, said police felt they were “thrown under the bus.”
In the speech, de Blasio said the recent encounters between white officers and black suspects that have left the suspects dead are the culmination of centuries of racial prejudice.
He noted that he told his own son Dante, who is biracial, he should act very carefully when dealing with police.
“Do you really believe that your son is at risk from your own police department?” host George Stephanopoulos asked.
“What parents have done for decades who have children of color, especially young men of color, is train them to be very careful when they have a connection with a police officer. It’s different for a white child. It’s just the reality of this country,” de Blasio said.
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