A Democratic New York state Senate candidate held an anti-cop sign at a Black Lives Matter protest in 2020, and Christian Amato now claims he wasn't aware the sign read "ACAB" — an acronym for "All Cops Are Bastards," the New York Post reported.
What are the details?
Amato — a Bronx strategist and community organizer — held the sign during the BLM demonstration at the Loreto Playground in Morris Park, the paper said, citing a recently surfaced photo. The BLM protest was a counter-demonstration against a "Back the Blue" rally, the Post added.
Calling Amato a "weasel beyond belief,” Bronx resident Wayne Gurman — who took the photo of Amato at the protest — told the paper "it’s laughable that Amato is running for [state] Senate …"
Gurman — who runs the Facebook group BRONX STRONG — added to the Post that BLM protesters blasted infamous '80s rap song “F*** tha Police” during the hastily organized counter-demonstration.
A demonstrator standing next to Amato carried a sign that read “Blue Lives Don’t Matter," the paper said.
James Gisondi — a lawyer running in the Democratic primary for NY Senate District 36, the Post said — earlier this month tweeted the photo of Amato carrying the sign. On Sunday he tweeted a challenge to "all candidates for NY [state] senate 36th to join with me in demanding ... Christian Amato resign from community planning [board] #11 or be removed by the board or [borough] president."
What did Amato have to say?
Amato admitted to the paper that he held the “ACAB” sign but claimed he wasn't aware of what was on the sign when it was handed to him.
“Someone passed me the sign, and I didn’t know it said, ‘ACAB.’ I had no clue,” he noted to the Post. “I totally grabbed the sign in haste.”
Amato added to the paper that he joined the counter-protest because he believed it was "tone-deaf" to hold a pro-cop rally just days after George Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis — a turn of events that ignited a summer of rioting, violence, and property destruction around the country.
“The officers deserve our respect. But we need our officers to be culturally cognitive,” Amato also told the Post. “When there is social unrest, it is not the best moment to hold an event. You have to read the room.”
Amato also told the paper that the "Back the Blue" demonstrators were unruly and angrily confronted and taunted the smaller number of Black Lives Matter protesters.
Here's a campaign video from Amato:
Christian Amato for State Senate youtu.be
The Post said the controversy over the “ACAB” sign follows the paper's recent report about a candidate for Democratic district leader in Brooklyn — rapper Noah Weston — who posted hateful messages on Twitter about police.