NY Governor Cuomo: “ I Stand With the Protesters ” and “Against the Arson, Thuggery, etc”
Today, during his daily press conference, Governor Cuomo would spend several minutes speaking about the injustices taking place in America. This comes in light of George Floyd’s death caused by Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin. Since the incident, which took place on May 25, there’s been rallies, protests and riots taking place across the country including here in New York City.
Later he would be asked about the protests going on and the Governor clarified his stance on the related violence by saying, “ You’ve a lot of violence in some of these protests. Obviously obey the law. I’m against any of the criminality that has gone on: Arson, Thuggery, etcera. “
Earlier in the day, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio would be asked if he believed Eric Garner would still be alive if he were white. The Mayor responded by somberly saying , “Absolutely”.
Eric Garner, was the man who suffered a very similar death in August 2019 when he was choked to death by NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo. Just as with George Floyd, Mr. Garner would also be remembered for his dying words, “ I can’t breathe“.
Following his morning conference, Mayor de Blasio would make an appearance on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer show. Mr. Lehrer would call out the Mayor for his Twitter posting stating that the officers in Minneapolis needed to be charged immediately. “But here in the city, you never called for charges against the officers in the death of Eric Garner who said, I can’t breathe 11 times as another officer sat on him. George Floyd was saying, I can’t breathe. Of course, everybody thinks of the Eric Garner case. And it took your administration five years to fire even one of the officers. So is it easier to speak your truth when it’s not in your city? And what’s your own legacy going to be in this regard? “, stated the talk show host.
The Mayor’s response: ” It is no question, Brian, that I look back on that and I will claim responsibility for the mistake of waiting on the Justice Department and I’ll never let that happen again. The – everything that I was hearing in that time was about the need to defer to the Justice Department. And not to comment and let them do their work. And that was just plain, a mistake. And in the future, I’m not going to handle – I hope there is no future, Brian. I’m want to be really, really clear. I hope we never see another thing like this in New York City. But I’m going to be really clear that we will not accept any situation like this in New York City. And God forbid there is one, I want to see charges acted on immediately. And I will be plain about that because it has to stop. It just has to stop. This is unacceptable. It shouldn’t happen to anyone. And why does it always happen to a black man? ”
Governor Cuomo’s Statement:
“I want to make one point about the larger context of what’s going on in Minneapolis today, which I’m sure is very distressing to all of us. And I want to begin by offering our personal thoughts and prayers to the family of George Floyd on behalf of all New Yorkers who have seen that incredible video. We can imagine your pain and you are in our thoughts and prayers. I would also suggest that when we think about this situation and we start to analyze the situation and the reaction. Let’s not make the same mistake that we continually make, which is we tend to see incidents. This is an incident, an isolated incident. People focus on an isolated incident. It’s not an isolated incident. It is a continuum of cases and situations that have been going on for decades, and decades, and decades.
These are just chapters in a book. And the title of the book is continuing injustice and inequality in America, and these are just chapters.
The chapters started modern day Rodney King in Los Angeles, 1991.
Abner Louima in New York, 1997.
Amadou Diallo in New York, 1999.
Sean Bell in New York, 2006.
Oscar Grant, Oakland, California, 2009.
Eric Garner, New York City, 2014.
Michael Brown, Missouri, 2014.
Laquan McDonald, Chicago, 2014.
Freddie Gray, Baltimore, 2015.
Antwon Rose, Pittsburgh, 2018.
Ahmed Aubrey in Georgia, 2020.
Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, 2020.
George Floyd in Minneapolis, 2020.
That’s, that’s why the outrage. That’s why the frustration and the anger. It is not about one situation. It’s about the same situation happening again, and again, and again, and again. And seeing the same thing and not learning the lesson. And then is that happening in a broader context and a broader circumstance which is what’s going on with the coronavirus. Which affects and kills more minorities than anyone else. You look around this country and you look at the people who are dying of the coronavirus. It is disproportionate African-American people and it’s just a continuing injustice and that’s the frustration and that’s the protests.
Nobody is sanctioning the arson, and the thuggery, and the burglaries. But the protesters, and the anger, and the fear, and the frustration? Yes. Yes. And the demand is for justice. And when the prosecutor came out and said well there’s other evidence, but I can’t tell you anything more than that. That only incited the frustration. Injustice in the justice system. How repugnant to the concept of America. And over, and over, and over again. I stand figuratively with the protestors. I stand against the arson, and the burglary, and the criminality. I stand with the protesters and I think all well-meaning Americans stand with the protesters. Enough is enough. How many times do you have to see the same lesson replayed before you do something? This country is better than this. It has been better than this and it shouldn’t take this long to end basic discrimination and basic injustice. “