Earlier today, after a weekend in which protestors numbering in the tens of thousands gathered near Prospect Park in front of the Brooklyn Museum, Mayor Bill de Blasio sealed the gates of a playground in a Jewish neighbourhood.
This evening, the community came together and sheered those gates apart.
Gatherings in the tens of thousands have been approved of by the Mayor, despite his insisting earlier in the pandemic that everyone should stay inside, shutter their businesses, and relinquish their work and social lives to prevent the contagion.
Members of the Hasidic Jewish community in Brooklyn have been particularly hard hit by de Blasio's office. He has sent the New York City Police Department to evacuate Jewish schools, shut down Jewish funerals, and break up Jewish gatherings. This despite the constitutional amendments to freedom of religion and to peaceful assembly.
However, when it came down to stopping the crimes of looting and vandalism that erupted after protests in the wake of George Floyd's death, de Blasio has been hesitant to employ the officers break up large gatherings or simply stop crime.
In fact, his interest has been more keenly placed in showing solidarity with protestors and their demands to defund those same police they he would use to disrupt and harass Brooklyn's Jewish community.
While de Blasio had spoken in April against anti-shutdown protests, he has been present at the George Floyd protests. He has been seen speaking to crowds, not social distancing, and eschewing a face mask, presumably so his message could be better heard. He has come under criticism by the chief of police for not supporting the police force of 38,000 men and women. Those officers have taken substantial abuse by protestors as well, from the officer who was mown down in the Bronx, to those who found themselves isolated on city streets, beaten by protestors, and demeaned by this mayoral administration.
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