New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is reportedly “really pissed” at Al Sharpton for embarrassing him and using his son to make a political point about the controversial death of Eric Garner, who died after being put in a chokehold by a police officer.
Speaking at a public roundtable at City Hall on police violence last week, Sharpton told de Blasio that if “Dante wasn’t your son, he’d be a candidate for a chokehold.” He also urged the progressive mayor to go from “hope to actuality” and told him, “If we’re going to play spin games, I’ll be your worst enemy.”
Things got fairly awkward at times as de Blasio was seated directly next to the civil rights activist.
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 31: New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (L) is joined by the Rev. Al Sharpton at City Hall for a roundtable discussion on police-community relations following the death of Eric Garner while in police custody in Staten Island on July 31, 2014 in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images
One source told the New York Post that de Blasio was “really pissed at what Sharpton did.”
“He felt [Sharpton] embarrassed him, and he regrets now that he let the press in and that he moved Sharpton up [to the dais],” the source reportedly said.
A de Blasio spokesman released a carefully crafted statement on Thursday:
“While he doesn’t always agree with Reverend Sharpton, he certainly respects him as a community, faith and civil-rights leader. The mayor was pleased Reverend Sharpton came to City Hall to participate in this important roundtable on police-community relations.”
The NY Post reports that some New York cops feel de Blasio has given Sharpton more influence on police matters than he deserves. In fact, the report alleges that some cops have created a fake NYPD ID with Sharpton’s photo and the title of “Police Commissioner.”
Sharpton claimed on Thursday that there are no hard feelings between himself and de Blasio’s administration.
Watch Sharpton's comments and some background on Garner's death via CBS New York: