Just days after the assassination of a police officer by a mentally ill ex-con shocked the city, Mayor de Blasio is jetting off to Germany to protest the G20.
The mayor will crash the conference in Hamburg — and will deliver the keynote address at a protest event called “Hamburg Zeigt Haltung,” or Hamburg Shows Attitude, his office announced mere hours before his departure overseas.
De Blasio’s Thursday night departure follows the early Wednesday morning slaying of Officer Miosotis Familia, a mother of three who was gunned down in her command unit as she wrapped up her shift. He leaves behind a city grappling with the emotional pain of the execution as well as questions about how the alleged killer, Alexander Bonds, was able to slip through the cracks of the mental health system despite seeking psychiatric help just four days before the murder.
Hamburg, the site of the international G20 gathering, has been rocked by clashes between protesters and police. The protest de Blasio is attending bills itself on its Facebook page as a “tolerant, diverse and nonviolent” event.
His Republican mayoral opponent, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, called the mayor’s jet-setting “a slap in the face of New Yorkers who deserve a mayor who works for them.”
“A member of the NYPD was murdered, a homeless crisis continues to worsen and our subway system seems to be on the verge of collapse and Mayor de Blasio has been criss-crossing the country pushing his national agenda, and now this,” she said. “Taxpayers deserve to know how much this is costing them and why the mayor refuses to do his job.”
With de Blasio getting ready to leave town, Gov. Cuomo ordered a review of the hospital where Bonds was treated.
The mayor will travel with three staffers, spokesman Eric Phillips said, but the cost of the trip will be picked up by event organizers, not City Hall. He will also be accompanied by his NYPD security detail. Their costs will be paid by taxpayers — and that price tag is typically not released for security reasons.
“We don’t discuss the details of protecting dignitaries, including the mayor,” an NYPD spokesman said.
De Blasio’s Thursday night departure follows the early Wednesday morning slaying of Officer Miosotis Familia.
De Blasio also plans to see his son, Dante, who is spending the summer in Germany.
The trip was approved by the Conflicts of Interest Board, Phillips said.
Still, Phillips said the mayor only decided to make the trip at 3:30 p.m. Thursday — after it was determined it wouldn’t conflict with Familia’s funeral. The mayor is scheduled to return Sunday evening.
Among the items on the mayor’s itinerary on Saturday is the G20 Summit Concert, where President Trump is also expected to be in attendance.
Riot police block the “Welcome to Hell” rally against the G20 summit in Hamburg, northern Germany on July 6, 2017. De Blasio plans to attend the peaceful “Hamburg Zeigt Haltung” protest on Saturday.
(STEFFI LOOS/AFP/Getty Images)
It is the second time in recent weeks the mayor has jetted out of New York with almost no notice to the public or the press.
De Blasio was not always so cavalier about the whereabouts of the city’s top official. As mayor-elect, he ripped then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg for being in Bermuda during a Metro North derailment.
“I think it’s important to alert the public and the media broadly to my whereabouts,” he said at the time.
The Hamburg Zeigt Haltung rally will be held on Saturday at a fish market, according to listings for the event.
Supporters of the rally told Norddeutscher Rundfunk, a Hamburg public broadcasting network, they were not necessarily opposed to the G20 summit, but to some of its participants, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Trump.
The mayor — or burgermeister, as he’d be called in Bavaria — is half-German, as evidenced by his given name, Warren Wilhelm, but talks more commonly about his Italian heritage. Unlike his trip to Italy, there are no plans to visit any ancestral home towns, Phillips said.