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Mayor Suggests 'Misunderstanding' Be Worked Out Over a Beer

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

WNYC

Mayor Michael Bloomberg took a page from President Barack Obama, and suggested a "beer summit" to work out the tensions caused after police officers shoved and handcuffed two black city officials who said they had permission to walk on a blocked off sidewalk during the West Indian American Day Parade.

The mayor told reporters he assumes the altercation will turn out to be a "misunderstanding," and that the officers, Brooklyn City Councilman Jumaane Williams, and public advocate aide Kirsten John Foy "have a beer together and work it out."

In a statement, Williams and Foy said they appreciate the gesture, but the incident was “bigger than the three of us over a beer.” They’d rather have a meeting with the Mayor and the Police Commissioner, where young black and Latino New Yorkers can talk about their interactions with police.

In 2009, President Obama hosted a similar beer related meeting at the White House between black Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Junior and Sgt. James Crowley, a white police officer who had arrested Gates for disorderly conduct in Gates' own home.  The incident prompted a national debate over racial profiling.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly met with Williams and Foy about the incident and said the NYPD is investigating.

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Comments [2]

Charles from New York

When are African Americans and Latinos going to learn that they are not above the law?

Sep. 08 2011 06:33 PM
jason from brooklyn

this is ridiculous. police aggression in nyc is out of control. the councilman has every right to be outraged. i hope he uses this opportunity to call attention to and DO SOMETHING about a police force that is driven by quotas and profit motives to arrest as many people as possible.

Sep. 07 2011 10:56 PM

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