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De Blasio calls Central Park incident 'disgusting,' suggests 'new category' of laws could punish it

Bill de Blasio
Posted at 3:36 PM, May 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-28 15:37:45-04

NEW YORK — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio joined other city lawmakers who have suggested laws could change to punish incidents like the one in Central Park in which a white woman wrongfully called police on a black man Monday.

De Blasio, speaking to the press Thursday, expressed his disgust at the incident.

"I was just appalled by that video," de Blasio said. "It was literally an effort to criminalize being a black man in America. That's what I saw."

The mayor believes that while the city has "very strong" hate crime laws, the incident demands further study.

"I think there's a very valid question about calling the police for any false claim of a crime," he said. "I don't know the law on that but that's the direction I would look at. Did she commit an offense by falsely accusing someone? That to me is the thing we need to better ascertain."

De Blasio said that there could be some sort of adjustment to the laws if need be.

"I would say if the current laws cover that appropriately, great. If they don't cover it appropriately, then I think the notion of creating a new category would make sense."

On Wednesday, some city leaders called for criminal charges to be filed against the woman. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams was joined by New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and other elected officials and advocates at an afternoon news conference to do so.

They were part of a group of about a dozen leaders and advocates calling for Amy Cooper to be criminally charged.

Borough President Adams, a former NYPD captain, said that the violation she'd made was clear.

"Those responding police officers should have looked at that tape, and immediately arrested Amy Cooper," Adams said, "based on Section 240-50, Subdivision 3" of the state penal code.