Mayor Bill de Blasio sat down with Ebro in the Morning to discuss the latest in the Eric Garner case, five years after Officer Daniel Pantaleo put him in an alleged chokehold which resulted in his death. de Blasio also spoke about last week’s blackout in Manhattan, and plans to avoid another one as a heat wave hits the east coast, as well as his presidential plans and goals throughout the campaign.
The conversation started as Ebro asked about the Justice Department’s decision not to charge Officer Pantaleo for the death of Eric Garner. He also discussed next month’s decision on whether Pantaleo will be fired from the case.
He revealed his disappointment for the Justice Department’s decision.
“This whole thing has been horrendous from day one,” he said. “It never shouldve happened. He should be alive”
Later in the conversation, he continues his plans for the future. “This is something we literally never seen in decades,” he began. “We are honestly no longer going to in any way refer to the Justice Department in making our decisions about departmental charges.”
Then Ebro continued to push the question, whether he would ever fire Pantaleo himself. Something de Blasio says is a legal issue.
“By state law that is the Police commissioner’s decision,” he said. “I have faith that he is a person that has really worked hard to make this a city that is fair.”
de Blasio also spoke about last weekend’s blackout, and the criticism he took for not being in New York City during that time. He explains that ConEd said that they believe the issue would be resolved quickly. At that point he had spoken to the Police commissioner, emergency manager commissioner, and the president of ConEd.
“At one point it became clear,” he said. “It was not being fixed fast enough. I got in the car – the only way to get home was to go to Chicago which was a four hour drive and then fly back the next morning. That was just a reality.”
de Blasio confirms that there is a possibility of another blackout, and that they are preparing for this rare, intense heat. The mayor also confirms he will be in New York City this weekend prepared to react if a second blackout happens.
“I’m staying here until we get through this heat thing which sounds like Sunday maybe later,” he said. “Whatever it takes.”
As far as his decision to run for president, he uses the problems in New York City, and the road blocks from the government as an example.
“If you want to change things you got to get in the game and fight for the change,” he said. “And I have now have a national platform to do that with. And I believe I can provide a different type of leadership.”
Before leaving, Ebro reiterated his thoughts that Pantaleo should be fired. de Blasio reiterated that in 1997 Mr. Livoti was fired by Police Commissioner Howard Safir, not then Mayor Rudy Giuliani, after confronting Anthony Baez and later putting him in a chokehold which resulted in his death.
He ended the conversation with happy plesantries, “thank you for the dialog.”
Watch the full conversation below.