Mayor de Blasio says police union bosses want to ‘politicize’ cop’s death by criticizing his Germany trip
Mayor de Blasio speaks during the "Hamburg zeigt Haltung" (Hamburg shows dignity) gathering on Saturday in Hamburg, Germany as world leaders meet during the G20 summit.
Mayor de Blasio defended his jaunt to Germany Monday — saying police union leaders who have criticized him for skipping town are trying to politicize the death of a police officer.
"I think the focus should be on the family, the focus should be on supporting our police officers in a time of grief," de Blasio said, a day after he returned from a trip to protest the G20 forum in Hamburg. "What some other people are doing is an attempt to politicize."
De Blasio has come under fire from his political opponents and from police union leaders, including Sergeant’s Benevolent Association leader Ed Mullins’, whose statement blasting de Blasio was picked up by Fox News and tweeted by President Trump.
"You talk about the president and Ed Mullins, I think you’ve said a lot right there about the motivations of people," de Blasio said. "And I find it unfortunate."
The mayor noted he met with Familia’s family the day she was shot, July 5, breaking the awful news to her oldest daughter, Genesis. He also visited the 46th Precinct last week before leaving for his trip, and met with Familia’s family again Monday, he said.
Front page of the New York Daily News for July 8, 2017.
"I spent time this morning with the family, I particularly spoke to Genesis, the two twins, Peter and Delilah. These kids are going through so much," de Blasio said, "but they are an extraordinarily strong family, a big committed family helping each other."
Hizzoner said it was important to make the trip because it was a "particularly meaningful moment" and one to show that New York City would have different policies from the federal government on things like climate change — though NY1 host Errol Louis noted he barely mentioned the issue in his main appearance in Hamburg, at a protest rally, and pressed him on why the trip mattered to New Yorkers.
"I think it comes back to the basic reality, again, a new political reality we’re facing," he said.
He said he was not concerned with being associated with violent protests of the G20, noting the event he attended was sponsored by the local political leadership and was nonviolent.
"The violent protests were bluntly from a fringe group that was bent on doing violence," he said, noting a "strong history of anarchy" in Europe and that he expressed his support of police — and their protection that allows people to peacefully protest — during his remarks.
Asked if he’d continue similar international travels if re-elected, de Blasio said he’d change his focus — but it still won’t necessarily be on the city he runs.
"My focus is on American cities, in terms of any efforts I would make to organize," he said. "I think this was, again, an exceptional moment that I thought it was important to participate in."
De Blasio also insisted he has "not done a lot of travel overseas."
The mayor has taken two trips to Italy for vacations in 2014 and 2016; another shorter trip to Rome and the Vatican in 2015; one to France after the Charlie Hebdo killings in 2015; one to the U.K. to deliver a speech in 2014; and a trip to Israel in 2015.