There’s just been a shake-up in the office of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The Washington Examiner reported Thursday that at least four of the Democrat mayor’s staffers have tendered their resignations or announced plans to step down over the last several days.
“The team will carry on”
Among those making their exits are de Blasio spokeswoman Freddi Goldstein and director of communications Wiley Norvell, both of whom have been with de Blasio for several years, according to the Examiner. The two stepped down on Friday.
Reacting to the news, Mayor de Blasio said he is “eternally grateful for their dedication to the people of this city and for helping us accomplish so much.”
“I’ve watched Freddi and Wiley rise through the ranks, lead their teams, and help steer the city through some of the hardest months in its history,” he added Friday, according to the Examiner. “The team will carry on.”
De Blasio also took time at his Friday presser to praise his new spokesman, former Bernie Sanders staffer Bill Neidhardt. “We’re starting a new chapter as we recover from COVID-19, and Bill’s experience makes him perfect for the challenges ahead,” the mayor said, according to the Examiner. “As we rebuild our city, he will help us connect with New Yorkers who need us the most and ensure we come back fairer and stronger than ever.”
De Blasio has so far taken a curious approach to help his city “recover from COVID-19.” Despite insisting that other large gatherings must be put on hold until at least September over fears of the coronavirus, the mayor told CNN personality Wolf Blitzer earlier this month that there is an exception for Black Lives Matter protests, the New York Post reported.
Crime and COVID-19
“This is a historic moment of change,” he said, according to the Post. “We have to respect that but also say to people the kinds of gatherings we’re used to, the parades, the fairs — we just can’t have that while we’re focusing on health right now.”
But the coronavirus isn’t the only crisis to hit New York City during de Blasio’s mayorship; the city has also seen a massive upswing in violent crime amid the demonstrations, which are aimed at eliminating police brutality and alleged systemic racism. According to the Wall Street Journal, shootings in New York are up more than 63% in 2020 compared to the same time last year.
In one incident that occurred just last weekend, a 1-year-old boy was killed while visiting a city park with his family. NBC New York reported Wednesday that federal authorities and the NYPD had apprehended a suspect in Brooklyn.
Twenty-eight-year-old Anthony Robinson was also shot to death earlier this month as he crossed a street with his 7-year-old daughter, the New York Daily News reported. Robinson’s killing was captured on video.
That bloodshed comes after the New York Police Department’s 600-member undercover anti-crime unit was disbanded late last month in light of the protests, as the New York Post reported. According to The New York Times, de Blasio also signed off last month on a roughly $1 billion budget cut for the NYPD — and it seems the move couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Big Apple.