Striking a pro-law enforcement tone amid the George Floyd protests turned riots, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio defended the actions of officers, including those who drove through barricades and into a crowd.
"I'm not going to blame officers who were trying to deal with an absolutely impossible situation," Mayor de Blasio said at a news conference in Brooklyn, according to Politico.
"I wish the officers had found a different approach but let's begin at the beginning — the protesters in that video did the wrong thing to surround that police car, period.
"If those protesters had just gotten out of the way and not created an attempt to surround that vehicle, we would not be talking about this situation."
De Blasio has had a checkered record on being critical of the NYPD's use of force, but on this, he said the NYPD is showing "a lot of restraint" and "overwhelmingly acting appropriately," per the Daily News.
De Blasio also rebuked the coordinated riots being conducted by people coming into the city from other areas looking for trouble.
"People who represent the communities of our city and the residents of our city are not joining negative and violent protests," Blasio said, per the Daily News. "You can see it with your own eyes.
"They're just not participating in it."
De Blasio asked the peaceful protesters to go home to defuse the tensions.
"Anyone who is a peaceful protester, it's time to go home," he told NY1 late Saturday night, per Politico. "The point's been made."
Eric Mack ✉
Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.
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