Mayor Bill de Blasio skipped a New York Police Department swearing-in ceremony to attend anti-capitalist protests at the G-20 summit in Germany on Thursday, according to the New York Post.
De Blasio kept his plans to attend the “Hamburg Shows Attitude” demonstration events under wraps until just 90 minutes before his flight to Germany took off. He is scheduled to be the event’s keynote speaker on Saturday.
His sudden departure to Germany meant skipping the swearing-in ceremony of more than 500 new NYPD officers and has drawn criticism for the timing. Just a day before, Officer Miosotis Familia was fatally shot while sitting in her service vehicle by an ex-con with a vendetta against police officers.
“Instead of jet-setting around the world, he should be here doing his job,” said Staten Island assemblywoman and presumptive Republican challenger Nicole Malliotakis. “A police officer was murdered, street homelessness has skyrocketed and people continue to get delayed on the trains.”
She later tweeted a Photoshopped image of de Blasio enjoying German beer and sausages while wearing lederhosen.
— Nicole Malliotakis (@NMalliotakis) July 6, 2017
“The photo is funny but the issue is serious,” Malliotakis said in another New York Post article. “Our mayor is neglecting his basic responsibility of managing the city.”
Ed Mullins, head of the NYPD sergeants union, also expressed his disapproval: “As the city mourns, its leader flees. And then he wonders why he has a problem with the police. A real leader stays in the city in this time of hardship.”
De Blasio will travel with three staffers, including press secretary Eric Phillips. The trip, for which event organizers will cover all expenses, will not conflict with the officer’s funeral, Phillips confirmed on Twitter.