WATCH: Bill De Blasio Defends Locking Playgrounds While Joining Black Lives Matter, Transgender Protests

News 12 Bronx

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio defended his administration’s practice of locking playgrounds on Tuesday morning, even though he personally has participated in crowded Black Lives Matter and transgender protests in recent weeks.

De Blasio was addressing reporters at a press briefing the a day after city workers welded the gates shut around parks in Brooklyn — and Orthodox Jews used bolt cutters to re-open playgrounds in their neighborhoods later the same day.

De Blasio claimed that the city’s policy was to keep playgrounds closed until “Phase Two” of re-opening after the coronavirus pandemic, and warned that people who used playgrounds without permission risked spreading the disease.

Q: Yes, I have a second question on a different topic. We have several reports yesterday, and this morning, where parents have shown up to playgrounds to cut the locks on them. These are specifically in Williamsburg and in other areas of Brooklyn. You’ve gotten questions about this in the past where there’s some frustration that the playgrounds are not opening up yet. They say they are going against your orders, and cutting these locks open. So, your reaction to that — and is the city going to show up and close them again, and are you going to  have to clean them up? What is the process here?

A: We are not going to allow people to take the law into their own hands. It just doesn’t work. So people are not allowed to open up a playground that is not yet available to the public. It is for a reason. Look, I was very sympathetic in the beginning, to every parent, as a parent myself, why people wanted to be on those playgrounds. We tried to make it work. It wasn’t working effectively. Right now, we are not going to make a change with the playgrounds until we get to phase two. Now, Phase Two, as everyone knows, could be as early as June 22nd. I’ve said I think it’s going to take a little longer than that just to make sure we are absolutely certain. But until the order is given that playgrounds are open, people need to stay off the playgrounds. It is not appropriate to take their own action. We are doing this so we can get to Phase Two and beyond. So I understand people’s frustrations. But if folks act prematurely and that causes the disease to start spreading again, then that’s the kind of thing that undermines our ability to get to Phase Two, and stay in Phase Two. So, I know it is not easy. But people have to understand, there’s a reason for these rules — it is to help us move forward.

He did not explain why he, along with tens of thousands of other left-wing New Yorkers, marched in Black Lives Matter protests or protests on behalf of black transgender people, where social distancing rules were generally not observed.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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