Speed Reads

Eric Garner

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has changed his tune about Eric Garner since summer

Since the release of the grand jury decision about Eric Garner's death at the hands of New York City police officers, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has sympathized with protesters of the verdict and stated Garner's death highlights a national need for police reform.

This marks a distinct change in tune since this past summer, when de Blasio defended police action at a press conference about Garner, saying, "Breaking a law is breaking a law, and it has to be addressed."

The mayor's post-verdict statement also praised NYC Police Commissioner William J. Bratton, whom de Blasio appointed, as "a strong, proven change agent." While it is true that the city's controversial and racially biased stop-and-frisk program has declined under Bratton and de Blasio, arrests of subway panhandlers have tripled and arrests for low-level violations like "drinking beer in public and riding a bike on the sidewalk [have] increased by more than 21 percent."