In discussing Garner, de Blasio invokes Dante

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2014-12-04 16:07Z by Steven

In discussing Garner, de Blasio invokes Dante

Capital New York
New York, New York

Sally Goldenberg, City Hall/Politics Reporter

Mayor Bill de Blasio often invoked his bi-racial teenage son, Dante, during an emotional speech on Staten Island Wednesday night, hours after a grand jury there declined to indict an NYPD officer in the death of Eric Garner.

“I spent some time with Ben Garner, Eric’s father, who is in unspeakable pain, and it’s a very hard thing to spend time trying to comfort someone you know is beyond the reach of comfort because of what he’s been through,” de Blasio said. “I can only imagine. I couldn’t help but immediately think what it would mean to me to lose Dante. Life could never be the same thereafter and I could feel how it will never be whole again. Things will never be whole again for Mr. Garner.”

The mayor spoke for nearly 20 minutes inside Mt. Sinai United Christian Church on Staten Island, where he was surrounded by elected officials and members of the clergy. He carefully avoided weighing in on the grand jury decision not to indict officer Daniel Pantaleo and left without taking questions from reporters…

…De Blasio spoke somberly about his own experience discussing policing over the years with his now 17-year-old son.

“This is profoundly personal for me,” the mayor said. “I was at the White House the other day and the president of the United States turned to me, and he met Dante a few months ago, and he said that Dante reminded him of what he looked like as a teenager. He said, ‘I know you see this crisis through a very personal lens.’ I said to him I did, because Chirlane and I have had to talk to Dante for years about the dangers that he may face.”

He called his son a “good young man, [a] law-abiding young man who never would think to do anything wrong.

“Yet, because of a history still that hangs over us, the dangers he may face, we’ve had to literally train him as families have all over this city for decades in how to take special care in any encounter he has with the police officers who are there to protect him.”…

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