New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is reportedly fuming about a humiliating dressing-down he got from activist preacher Al Sharpton at a City Hall meeting on police and community relations.
At a roundtable discussion July 31, Sharpton delivered a lecture to the mayor about the the NYPD's so-called "broken windows" strategy targeting smaller crimes to deter bigger ones.
"If we're going to play spin games, I'll be your worst enemy," Sharpton warned while seated on a dias with de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton at the forum, the New York Post reports.
At the forum, called in the wake of the July 17 chokehold death
of a city man during an arrest caught on video, Sharpton also told de Blasio if mixed-race teenager Dante "wasn’t your son, he'd be a candidate for a chokehold," demanding the mayor "go from hope to actuality."
"He was really [ticked] at what Sharpton did," the New York Post quoted one unidentified source saying.
"He felt [Sharpton] embarrassed him, and he regrets now that he let the press in and that he moved Sharpton up [to the dais]."
Sharpton was initially supposed to be seated away from de Blasio with other community leaders, the source told the Post.
The Post also reported some of de Blasio’s aides are worried the public scolding damaged the mayor’s credibility amid the controversy over the death of Eric Garner.
"It's obvious it was a mistake. It makes him look weak," the Post quoted the source saying.
Sharpton told the Post de Blasio administration officials hadn't expressed any anger over the event.
A spokesman for the mayor told the newspaper, "While he doesn’t always agree with Reverend Sharpton, he certainly respects him as a community, faith and civil-rights leader. The mayor was pleased Reverend Sharpton came to City Hall to participate in this important roundtable…."
Meanwhile, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Friday it was a "big mistake" for de Blasio to let Shartpon go on the tirade.
Speaking on the Geraldo Rivera Radio show on WABC-AM,
Giuliani said it was "extremely damaging" to Bratton, asking “How far can you push the guy?”
The former mayor also said while he supported the "broken windows" strategy, "It doesn't have to be rigidly enforced."
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