New York Mayor Bill de Blasio says he is “shamefully” insensitive when he comments about Black people protesting against police brutality.
In a New York Post op-ed published Monday, de Blasio said “there’s no reason for people to riot in New York,” a reference to riots and looting in New Orleans after the grand jury declined to indict a white police officer who killed an unarmed black teenager.
“There’s no need to do this.
It’s a shameful, sickening thing for anyone to do,” de Blasio wrote.
“This is the kind of behavior that fuels violence, and it’s an embarrassment to the city.
We should all be ashamed.”
The comments, which have since been condemned by some of the city’s top civil rights leaders, came after de Blasio’s administration had been criticized for its response to a wave of violent protests in New Jersey over the weekend.
The mayor said Sunday that “it’s really not clear” how to address the violence that has spread across the country.
De Blasio said Monday that he was trying to “make the most of the situation” in New England.
“If there’s a way to heal, it’s to continue to talk about this and be respectful of each other,” deBlasio told reporters.
“It’s a difficult moment and I think it’s time to reflect on what has happened in this country.”
DeBlasio said his comments were made on Saturday at a town hall event in the city, and that he did not use racial slurs.
“I was making a statement,” he said.
“When you make a statement like that, you need to have an apology.”
The statement was released hours after deBlasso spoke to reporters on Monday.
“My comments are not meant to be a personal attack, but to show how deeply I believe in our system,” deBarros said.
The statement did not specify how he felt about the backlash that followed.
The mayor, who is black, has come under fire for comments made in 2015, when he said that black people should “be ashamed” of protesting in the name of black rights.
The president of the New York State Council of Black Women, Nellie Andrade, called deBlasts remarks “disturbing” and said they showed a “sickened lack of respect for Black people.”
De Blasio, who has said he does not condone violent protest, has said the protests are a symptom of systemic racism.
“It is our duty to address systemic racism, including systemic racism that is institutional, that affects the lives of people of color in this city,” he wrote in a statement on Monday morning.
“The protests are not a symptom.
They are a disease.”
DeBarros, a Democrat, was elected mayor in May after defeating a Republican challenger in a race that saw a wave to the left of the 2016 Democratic presidential primary.
DeBlasts comments came just days after a video surfaced that showed de Blasio and his top aides discussing whether to hold an event in a park to protest police brutality in New Zealand, a country where de Blasio has been criticized in the past for his response to the country’s “Black Lives Matter” movement.
In the video, which was posted to Twitter by the police union and showed deBlastos office in a rented house in Auckland, New Zealand , de Blasio is heard saying: “The mayor and the city of New York has a responsibility to show respect for our police and to work with them to end this epidemic of police brutality.”
In his statement Monday, the mayor said the video was “disturbingly edited.”
“The city of Auckland has made a decision to hold a protest in their city’s city park on Monday,” the statement said.
The park was set to host a concert and an art exhibit, but the event was cancelled because of the protests, the statement added.
The statement also said the mayor’s office had “not been forthcoming” with the city police department about the incident, and was “actively seeking the assistance of the police department” in its investigation.
“The mayor does not have a position on the events of the past 24 hours or his decision to invite the New Zealand police chief to the event, which he has not publicly stated,” the city said in the statement.
“I understand that there are many people who feel that we have been treated unfairly in this way.
I am also very disappointed that this situation has arisen.
We will continue to work together and support one another.”
New Zealand’s prime minister, Winston Peters, condemned the comments and called on the country to respect “people’s rights to express themselves in peaceful ways.”
De Blasts comments come as President Donald Trump and his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, are in the midst of a fight over an investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia during the 2016 presidential election