Late Saturday night, Mayor Bill de Blasio emerged from surveying the chaos that had erupted at protests throughout the city to deliver an unequivocal message: Those clashing with police officers should shape up and head home.
By Monday morning, the mayor had sanded the edges of his off-brand scolding and loosened his embrace of the NYPD.
The tonal turnaround came after he heard from multiple aides and allies suggesting he take a different approach, met with several black elected officials and learned his 25-year-old daughter had been arrested during a demonstration in Manhattan Saturday night.
“He was greeted by an avalanche of anger, bemusement and complete confusion about what the hell he was talking about,” Neal Kwatra, a political consultant who has advised de Blasio’s team throughout his mayoralty, said on Monday.
“He was dismissive and he didn’t identify any empathy with the protests writ large,” Kwatra added. “He was talking like an administrator. He was talking like a bureaucrat.”
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