Taking a page from President Barack Obama’s playbook, Mayor Michael Bloomberg reportedly suggested that City Council member Jumaane Williams and the officers who arrested him and Public Advocate aid Kirsten Foy discuss the “misunderstanding” over a beer.
Bloomberg made the statement at a press conference on Wednesday when he was asked about the arrest that was
“Hopefully every once in awhile if there is a misunderstanding, you have a beer together and work it out,” Bloomberg said.
However, Williams and Foy say that their arrest on Monday is not an isolated incident and that it’s a bigger problem involving young Black and Latino men and the NYPDs stop and frisk practice. They said the issue goes far beyond a light discussion.
“Thank you for the compliment and gesture,” Williams and Foy said in a joint statement. “While we appreciate the mayor’s gesture, this is bigger than the three of us over a beer. We would rather have a meeting with the Mayor and Commissioner Kelly, where young African American and Latino New Yorkers can talk openly and directly about their experiences with stop and frisk and other police interactions.”
Bloomberg is taking the move of having a beer to work out the situation between the NYPD and Williams and Foy from the 2009 arrest of Black Professor Henry Louis Gates by a white police officer at his Massachusetts home. Police were responding to Gates’ house after a report of a break-in and ended up arresting Gates.
Obama invited Gates and the officer to the White House to have a beer and discuss the situation.