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Wednesday’s Headlines: Erasing the Thin Blue Line Edition

12:05 AM EDT on June 17, 2020

Virtual de Blasio on Tuesday. Photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office

It only took six-plus years, but Mayor de Blasio finally declared war on the police unions that have been waging war on reform for, well, ever. In barbed comments, Hizzoner targeted the Sergeants Benevolent Association and its toxic totem Ed Mullins for "racist activities," most recently supporting Confederate monuments and doxxing the mayor's daughter after her arrest in a Black Lives Matter protest.

Everyone covered it: The Daily News (mentioning the Confederate outrage), the Post (mentioning the false claim that cops had been poisoned at a Shake Shack), Fox 5. The Times failed to mention Mayor de Blasio's Declaration of Independence, but did play up the Shake Shack non-poisoning.

The mayor's fight with the unions come as Police Commissioner Dermot Shea kept the reforms coming. In an interview with the Associated Press, Shea said he could see getting the NYPD out of school safety and traffic enforcement, which could save $500 million right there. Streetsblog has been covering activists' call for a $1-billion cut in the NYPD's bloated $6-billion budget, so things are moving in the right direction.

In other police news, Council Speaker Corey Johnson admitted his 2015 support for more cops was a mistake (NY Post) — and his call to de-militarize school safety earned him a charge of racism from the head of the school safety agent union (NY Post).

In other news:

    • The mayor was far less clear about his plans for Phase II of the city's reopening, which could start Monday — as if. (NYDN, NY Post)
    • The Daily News had more details about the 19-year-old cyclist who was killed by an MTA bus driver on Fifth Avenue yesterday. Cops didn't add much beyond what was in our original piece.
    • Here's another reason why people are growing nervous that Gov. Cuomo will keep the overnight subway shutdown in place. (NY Post)
    • New York Stock Exchange floor traders can finally use public transportation again. (NYDN)
    • It's always good to hear from DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, which we did at yesterday's City & State webinar about the future of transportation.
    • In a Daily News op-ed, Alex Armlovich reminds us all that placard abuse is the gateway drug to police corruption and abuse.
    • And, finally, the Nathan's hot dog eating contest, which our grizzled old editor has covered annually since the late 1980s, will go off as scheduled on July 4 — albeit with no fans (WSJ). The contest, as you know, has only been canceled twice since 1917, as contest ringmaster George Shea is fond of saying: Once in 1941 as war clouds gathered in Europe and once in 1971 to protest the advent of free love.

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