For Mayor Bill de Blasio, divine intervention it is to stem the brewing tensions between the City’s police department and New Yorkers following the chokehold death of Staten Island man, Eric Garner. The mayor has reportedly planned to assemble a group of religious leaders, to be led by Cardinal Timothy Dolan for an interfaith gathering scheduled for the end of the month.
The proposed assemblage will include top NYPD officials and the leader of National Action Network, Rev. Al Sharpton, who is at the vanguard of civil protests on the death of the 43 year old grandfather. De Blasio hopes to use the occasion to improve the apparent poor relationship, and douse the tensions generated between the people of New York City and their police department.
In his response, Cardinal Dolan was quoted as saying that “I am grateful for Mayor de Blasio’s invitation to host a group of religious leaders from throughout New York City, who will come together to try to be a source of continued healing and reconciliation between our police force and the community it serves.” The clergyman, reechoing what the mayor considers and hopes will help in “healing and deepening the relationship between police and community.”
In the meantime, Al Sharpton has changed method of the proposed march on Verrazano-Narrow Bridge, saying his group of protesters will instead move in convoy of buses and cars over the bridge on August 23. “It’s better (for residents) if they rallied by the bridge and turned back and went back across the bridge. Now we’re going to drive to DA’s office, if we go that way.” Sharpton reportedly said, following widely reported opposition by interested individuals and government officials, concerning safety on the bridge.
Elected city officials including Public Advocate, Letitia James share similar safety concerns, “I don’t believe it’s safe for walking because of the climb and the steepness and wind guts.” She said, adding that the ferry is a better alternative at reaching the DA’s office.