NYC Mayor’s Relations With Police Strained Over Aide’s Boyfriend


New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s relationship with police, strained by accusations he sided with police critic Al Sharpton over the chokehold death of an unarmed suspect, suffered another hit with revelations a top aide is living with a convicted killer who has often mocked officers as “pigs,” the Associated Press reports. Police unions say it’s the latest incident that shows the mayor’s lack of support for the 34,000-officer force. Even some de Blasio allies acknowledge the mayor could do a better job of leading the department he is simultaneously trying to reform. “This is difficult terrain, particularly for a new mayor,” said Prof. Eugene O’Donnell of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, who was on the mayor’s transition team. “Morale has been low on the force and it’s only getting worse.”

After two mayors who were largely lockstep with the NYPD, de Blasio was viewed suspiciously by police with his fierce push to end stop-and-frisk, the crime-fighting tactic that allowed officers to stop anyone they deemed suspicious but a judge ruled sometimes discriminated against minorities. Then de Blasio called a police official to inquire about the arrest of a political ally, who was later released. Police said the release had nothing to do with the mayor’s request but the unions said the call made it seem like de Blasio was undermining officers. The latest issue was the news that Rachel Noerdlinger, first lady Chirlane McCray’s chief of staff and a highly visible face at City Hall, is dating Hassaun McFarlan, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in a 1993 shooting when he was 15 and later served time for drug trafficking. The website DNAinfo reported that McFarlan’s Facebook page, now taken down, had several posts referring to police as “pigs.”

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