A key early endorser and now member of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s transition team, Bishop Orlando Findlayter of New Hope Christian church in Queens was arrested on outstanding warrants, then in an unusual move, was promptly released after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio reached out to senior authorities within the police department.
Findlayter, who is seen as key in helping de Blasio win support within the black community when he needed it most, was pulled over for making a left turn without signaling. A records search indicated he had two outstanding arrest warrants, one for not appearing in court. Court officials said Bishop Findlayter again didn’t appear in court on Tuesday after this most recent release thanks to de Blasio.
Mr. de Blasio called NYPD Deputy Chief Kim Royster, a top official in the NYPD’s press office, shortly after two New York City police officers pulled over Bishop Findlayter as he drove a 2012 Lincoln sedan at 11:21 p.m. at the southeast corner of Clarkson Avenue and East 92nd Street in Brooklyn, officials said. The officers said the bishop had made a left turn without signaling, according to the report.
De Blasio’s people are trying to play down de Blasio’s involvement. It will be interesting to see if media holds de Blasio to the same standard they seem to be holding Chris Christie in NJ.
De Blasio spokesman Phil Walzak said the mayor reached out to the deputy chief to “get clarification on word that there had been an arrest of a respected local clergyman.” The bishop didn’t return calls for comment. No one answered at his home in Lynbrook on Long Island.
The officers on Monday night arrested the bishop and charged him with aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle in the third degree and making an illegal left turn, according to the arrest report. The officers took him to the 67th precinct, the report said.
Under ordinary circumstances, Findlayter would have spent the night in jail. That didn’t happen here and his failure to again show up in court may further complicate things for de Blasio. He’s already been accused of treating the Upper east Side of NYC differently for not supporting him during the election.
At this rate, it seems fair to question is de Blasio’s supporters don’t also get to experience their own brand of justice, or lack thereof. More here.
Deputy Inspector Lehr asked the bishop if he was aware of the outstanding warrants, Mr. Davis said. The bishop told Mr. Lehr that he had hired lawyers to resolve the matter and didn’t appear in court because he believed they had taken care of the matter, Mr. Davis said.
John Jay College professor Eugene O’Donnell, a former NYPD officer and prosecutor, said he wasn’t aware of any patrol guide provision that would allow” Deputy Inspector Lehr to release anyone wanted on a bench warrant. “Everyday people get dragged through the system for technical reasons and spend time in prison, but that’s the system we live in,” he said.