As New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio faces a re-election fight next year, an issue that galvanized his first run — achieving significant police reform — is becoming a liability, reports the New York Times. Caught between his soaring rhetoric as an outsider candidate and the realities of leading a city with a hair-trigger sensitivity to crime, de Blasio is disappointing many who once supported him, in a community he can ill afford to lose: the black voters who propelled him to office. “There’s a buzz going around about the disappointment,” said Bertha Lewis, who served on de Blasio’s transition team in 2014 but has become a vocal critic. “There’s a growing enthusiasm gap.” There have been opportunities for de Blasio him to live up to his image and his promise as a police reformer. Instead, those issues have become magnets for dissent.
Included are tens of thousands of dollars in extra pay for Daniel Pantaleo, the police officer who put Eric Garner in a fatal chokehold in 2014, disciplinary records newly shielded from disclosure, resistance to police-reform legislation in the City Council and continuing fidelity to a “broken-windows” model of policing. At the Council, a growing number of members have been refusing to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of meetings, in part, because of de Blasio’s handling of policing issues.