A New York Post reporter who went undercover outside New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s mansion Wednesday was confronted by a police officer moments after arriving, the newspaper reported.
“You see that big house up there? That’s the mayor’s house,” the cop reportedly told the undercover reporter, suggesting he move away.
[sharequote align=”center”]“You see that big house up there? That’s the mayor’s house.”[/sharequote]
The officer added, according to the Post, “Here’s the thing: You try to panhandle in front of the mayor’s house, he’s going to have you moved.”
The reporter asked if the liberal mayor would really request he be moved out of the area.
“Yeah, you’re going to be moved,” the cop reportedly replied. “You’re in front of the mayor’s house. Think about it. How does it look, somebody panhandles in front of the mayor’s house? You see what I’m saying?”
Soon after, the Post reported that additional officers arrived on the scene with a police wagon, flashing their emergency lights. Following a brief huddle, the original cop went back and told the undercover reporter it was OK for him to remain in the area with his “HELP THE HOMELESS” sign.
The Post reported that earlier a different officer had told him to “keep walking” past the residence.
The Post’s investigation comes after de Blasio blasted the paper for “fear-mongering” on the issue of homelessness. The newspaper had previously reported on a man publicly urinating in the streets of New York City who officials refuse to do anything about.
On Wednesday, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said the homeless “have ever bit as much right” to use public benches and parks as others.
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