De Blasio heckled on live CNN town hall over handling of Eric Garner case
An audience protester interrupted Mayor de Blasio’s live TV bid Sunday to boost his lagging presidential campaign by heckling him over the Eric Garner police chokehold case.
“What about Lieutenant [Christopher] Bannon? What about Officer [Mark]Ramos? What about other officers?” yelled a woman identified by backers as Julianne Hoffenberg of the protest group Justice League NYC.
Bannon and Ramos were at the scene of Garner’s arrest in 2014, during which Officer Daniel Pantaleo applied a banned chokehold to restrain Garner when he resisted arrest on a charge of selling a loose cigarette on a Staten Island street. Investigators found the chokehold led to Garner’s death.
Ana Cabrera, moderator of de Blasio’s CNN town hall, cut her off.
“Please be respectful. Please be respectful. We have more audience questions to get to,” Cabrera said.
De Blasio didn’t look at Hoffenberg, or acknowledge her question as she was led out of TV studio.
Before Hoffenberg’s outburst, de Blasio blamed the federal government for the five-year process that led Police Commissioner James O’Neill to finally fire Pantaleo.
“The United States Department of Justice failed here miserably,” de Blasio said.
Justice League NYC co-founder Carmen Perez crowed about its disruption of de Blasio’s TV appearance. “Tonight the Mayor learned that if he is going to actually be in the city, then he must focus on the city," Perez said.
De Blasio was also tossed on the hot seat for his plan to deal with the startling suicides this year of nine NYPD officers — including seven since June.
NYPD Officer Xavier Perez questioned de Blasio’s ability to handle the mental health problems of U.S. troops “when there’s an evident lack of support of the men and women of the New York City police department.”