2:55 pm Sep. 7, 2011
Mayor Bloomberg is trying to play down the altercation that left a black city councilman and a prominent legislative aide on the ground and in handcuffs as a "misunderstanding" that could be smoothed out over "a beer."
"I assume it'll probably turn out to be just a misunderstanding," Bloomberg told reporters in Lower Manhattan this morning, when asked about the September 5 incident in Brooklyn. "The police have a job to do and the city councilman has a job to do and hopefully, every once in a while, if there's a misunderstanding, that they have a beer together and work it out."
Jumaane Willliams, a councilman from Brooklyn, and Kirsten John Foy, a legislative aide for public advocate, said their detainment by police officers was symptomatic of the NYPD's overaggression in dealing with African-American and Latino men in the city. The NYPD has said it is investing the incident.
At a press conference yesterday with the Williams and Foy, a number of city and state officials agreed with that assertion. Councilmember Letitia James, also of Brooklyn, said she has unsuccessfully tried to hold hearings on the matter for the last two years.
UPDATE: Councilman Jumaane Williams and Kirsten John Foy of Public Advocate Bill de Blasio's office released a joint statement in response to Bloomberg's coments:
"Thank you for the compliment and gesture. While we appreciate the Mayor's gesture, this is bigger than the three of us over a beer. We would rather have a meeting with the Mayor and the Commissioner, where young African American and Latino NYers can talk openly and directly about their experiences with stop and frisk and other police interactions."