This week, as protests have been growing to demand action regarding the murder of Eric Garner, Mayor de Blasio met with Gwen Carr, Garner’s mother, along with other members of Eric’s family. In 2015, he met with tennis star James Blake—who was unjustly brutalized and arrested by NYPD Officer James Frascatore—because Blake is a “prominent person.”
Gwen Carr and James Blake didn’t ask or demand to meet with de Blasio.
The mayor went out of his way to make sure those meetings happened because of politics. And he made sure the press knew about those meetings.
But he’s ignored and refused to meet with families like mine, Delrawn Small’s and Mohamed Bah’s—even though we’ve protested to demand meetings with him—because he thinks we’re not high profile enough to give him political points.
Mayor de Blasio’s obvious cherry-picking and political games when it comes to which police killings and police brutality cases he will respond to is disgraceful. He should be ashamed.
On Feb. 2, 2012, the now former NYPD Officer Richard Haste, killed my son, Ramarley Graham, in his own home in front of his grandmother and six-year-old brother, after multiple officers busted in without a warrant or legal justification.
After years of fighting, I finally got two of the many officers involved in my son’s killing and the cover-up that followed forced out of the NYPD. During that time, I did everything in my power to demand a meeting with Mayor de Blasio so that I could tell him why these officers needed to be off our streets and hear from him directly as to why he had taken zero action to hold them accountable. My supporters and I sent letters. We made phone calls. We rallied at City Hall and Gracie Mansion. We marched in the streets.
Time and time again, I got the same response from de Blasio’s people—he would not meet with me because there was an ongoing case against Haste. It was about “due process,” they said.
Hawa Bah, the mother of Mohamed Bah who was killed by NYPD officers in 2012, and Victoria Davis, the sister of Delrawn Small who was killed in 2016, have also called for sit-downs with de Blasio and he has ignored them. Thanks to Mrs. Bah’s leadership, the de Blasio administration was finally forced to drop their disrespectful appeal of the Bah civil suit verdict which found NYPD Officer Edwin Mateo liable for using excessive force when killing Bah and settled the case in March, but de Blasio and his NYPD have done nothing to hold Mateo accountable for his actions. And he has done absolutely nothing to hold NYPD Officer Wayne Isaacs accountable for killing Delrawn Small, even though Isaacs’ actions were serious enough that the New York State Attorney General prosecuted him for murder. The mayor needs to stop his hypocrisy and meet with these families.
Make no mistake—de Blasio has done Eric Garner’s mother and family a grave injustice with his five years of delays and lies about why he and the NYPD have obstructed the disciplinary process and refused to hold Pantaleo and the other officers involved in Garner’s killing accountable.
That meeting yesterday wasn’t for the Garner family.
It was to serve de Blasio’s political ambitions.
We stand with Mrs. Carr in her continued demands that Daniel Pantaleo, Justin D’Amico, Sgt. Kizzy Adonis, Craig Furlani, Mark Ramos and all officers involved in killing Garner and the subsequent cover-up be fired—including the officers whose names have still not been revealed by the de Blasio administration.
De Blasio’s consistent disrespect of families who have lost loved ones to the NYPD is disgusting. He needs to stop playing political games with the killings of our Black children and do his job as mayor to hold officers accountable when they kill our children