Neal Kwatra Breaks Down Why New York Protesters Are Turning Their Backs on Mayor de Blasio

New York City – May 26 2014: New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio speaking at the annual Memorial Day Remembrance ceremonies in Riverside Park

The city of New York is giving its mayor the cold shoulder after an enforced curfew went wrong in the eyes of the public last Wednesday. 

“The most charitable assessment is that his mayoralty is currently on life support,” said a former adviser to Mayor de Blasio, Neal Kwatra. Kwatra is the founder and CEO of MPS, a high-level political consulting firm. Below, we share the events surrounding New York City’s executed curfew and de Blasio’s denouncement:

Saturday, May 30: Protestors gathered in New York City to seek justice for the death of George Floyd, who was wrongfully killed by police during his arrest. During nightfall, police reacted to protestors by bulldozing through crowds with their patrol vehicles. The incident created unrest for many, including multiple advisors who were in once or are currently employed by Mayor de Blasio. These past and present staff members openly expressed their lack of confidence in the mayor’s leadership abilities. About four hundred of these individuals signed a public letter that criticizes de Blasio’s policing strategy approach and requests a call of action for the mayor to cut New York Police Department funding. This letter includes snapshots taken from the Saturday when police plowed through the protesters. 

Monday, June 1: For the first time since World War II, a curfew was enforced for the entire city to control protesters and widespread looting and violence. Citizens were required to reside in their homes from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Curfews are often looked to by law enforcement as a worst-case scenario for attempting to curb violence or crime that has gotten out of hand. However, the curfew’s implementation only exacerbated the tension between police and the community they are supposed to serve and protect. 

Wednesday, June 3: After setting into place an even more strict curfew that was in place from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., Mayor de Blasio received a lot of criticism from the public as well as former staffers and current council members for defending the police’s curfew enforcement approach. Videos circulated on social media showing the police and their actions against peaceful protestors as well as New Yorkers just trying to get home. A recording revealed several officers utilizing their batons on protesters. De Blasio claims to have not yet seen such footage. To add to the unfortunate day, two officers found themselves wounded from a gunfight that stemmed from an assailant stabbing a police officer.

Thursday, June 4: Mayor de Blasio started his morning at Kings County Hospital, having to address the incident that resulted in two wounded officers in a press conference. Then, along with his wife Chirlane McCray, de Blasio attended and spoke at a memorial for Floyd in Brooklyn. The citizens of New York in attendance clearly expressed disapproval towards the city’s mayor when he drew ridicule from the audience. De Blasio received boos upon arrival as members of the crowd turned their backs to him while even chanting “resign” and “I can’t breathe” during his ninety-second speech.

About Neal Kwatra

Since the founding of MPS in 2013, Neal Kwatra has been at the forefront of the most hotly contested political and advocacy campaigns in New York and across the nation. Kwatra expanded the reach of MPS into the strategic management of nationally recognized grassroots and issue advocacy campaigns, including the #FightFor15, where New York became the first state to pass a $15 minimum wage.