Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was heckled by a group of protestors Thursday after he showed up to help paint a Black Lives Matter mural on Fifth Avenue outside Trump Tower.
The mayor was joined by his wife First Lady Chirlane McCray, Rev. Al Sharpton, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Democratic New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney, the New York Post reported. After arriving at the scene, the mayor was heckled by a few men who shouted “douchebag de Blasio.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Rev. Al Sharpton help paint the “Black Lives Matter” mural in front of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue. https://t.co/bLsMQaI734 pic.twitter.com/dCx2Sy0NVo
— ABC News (@ABC) July 9, 2020
“This is such an important moment for our city,” de Blasio told volunteers holding paint rollers. “We are making a statement today of what we value in New York City.” While the mural was being painted, hecklers also chanted “shame on you” and one woman reportedly yelled, “Hitler told us all lives didn’t matter too,” according to the New York Post.
De Blasio authorized the street mural, painted in giant yellow letters, earlier this month. The move hasn’t pleased all Black Lives Matter supporters, however, as the Black Lives Matter Global Network Group called the move a “performative distraction from real policy changes,” CNN reported.
Our city isn’t just painting the words on Fifth Avenue. We’re committed to the meaning of the message. #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/VE6MT80qDI
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) July 9, 2020
The move didn’t sit well with President Donald Trump either, who called out the mayor’s supporters for previous inflammatory comments against the New York City Police Department (NYPD) in a tweet June 25. “NYC Police are furious!,” the president said. (RELATED: NYPD Shows Up In Force To Dismantle Protesters’ New NYC ‘CHAZ’)
Told that @NYCMayor Bill de Blasio wants to paint the fabled & beautiful Fifth Avenue, right in front of Trump Tower/Tiffany, with a big yellow Black Lives Matter sign. “Pigs in a Blanket, Fry ‘Em Like Bacon”, referring to killing Police, is their chant. NYC Police are furious!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 25, 2020
In the past week, 179 NYPD officers have filed for retirement amid growing tensions with de Blasio, who announced that he would be slashing the NYPD budget and disbanding the force’s anti-crime unit. The mayor also stated in June that he would be reallocating NYPD funding to youth initiatives and social services.
De Blasio said Thursday in an interview with CNN host Wolf Blitzer he would permit Black Lives Matter protestors to demonstrate in public. The decision was made despite the fact that New York City banned large public gatherings through September and is currently experiencing a steady increase in coronavirus cases, Fox News reported.