Amidst countless reports of New York police brutalizing and escalating confrontations with protesters over the past week, including the incident where police rammed vans into crowds of demonstrators, NYC mayor Bill De Blasio has tirelessly praised and defended the NYPD. The NYPD has long been hostile to De Blasio, supposed progressive and ska lover, and one police union even illegally doxxed De Blasio’s daughter Chiara after she was arrested protesting. It doesn’t matter. Yesterday, De Blasio demanded that New York governor Andrew Cuomo apologize to the NYPD after he called their actions “a disgrace.” (Cuomo, in fact, did apologize.) And today, De Blasio invoked the grime specter of John Lennon’s “Imagine” while dismissing the idea of defunding the police.
According to journalist Jack Mirkinson on Twitter, De Blasio mentioned “Imagine” while speaking with reporters today:
I don’t mean to make light of this, but I’m reminded of the song “Imagine” by John Lennon. We played it at my inauguration. I think everyone who hears that song in its fullness things about, what about a world where people got along differently, what about a world where we didn’t live with a lot of the restrictions that we live with now. But we’re not there yet.
We’re making a lot of progress, I truly believe the protest movements themselves, the peaceful protest is the essence of how we make progress. The reforms made within the NYPD are progress, deep progress. But for folks who say defund the police, I would say that this is not the way forward.
According to journalist Brigid Bergin, De Blasio babbled all of this in response to a question about “how to give young people hope and resources.”