Leading clergyman to de Blasio: Fix NYPD or lose our support


A leading black clergyman on Tuesday warned Mayor de Blasio his re-election hinges on making sweeping changes to the NYPD — including firing cleared chokehold cop Daniel Pantaleo.

Rev. Calvin Butts III issued the threat outside City Hall, where he called for the elimination of “Broken Windows” policing and stop-and-frisk — policies de Blasio has criticized but still supports.

Butts and other members of the United Clergy Caucus also demanded that the NYPD’s criminal investigation into the killing of chokehold victim Eric Garner be reopened — a move opposed by the US Justice Department as it conducts its own probe.

And they also want the mayor to fight a proposed state law that would make resisting arrest a felony, dictating that he meet with community leaders to discuss policing issues.

The clergyman — who endorsed Bill Thompson in the 2013 Democratic mayoral primary won by de Blasio — was also steamed the mayor ignored a March 10 invitation to meet with the group.

“We view that as a snub, a lack of respect and a lack of concern,” Butts fumed.

“I think he needs to act with all deliberate speed. We expected more from de Blasio,” Butts told The Post, before threatening to work against the mayor’s 2017 re-election bid.

“If he doesn’t act on this and meet with us, at least to talk to us about the reforms, it’s not that it might impact him — it will. If he doesn’t think it’s time enough or he doesn’t want to bother with us or whatever his reasoning is, we’re already talking about what we need to do.”

A City Hall source confirmed that de Blasio blew off the meeting, but insisted the administration has been in frequent contact with Butts and other clergy members.

The source pointed to drops in civilian complaints and the use of stop-and-frisk as signs of progress.

“Complaints to the Civilian Complaint Review Board dropped 11 percent compared to the previous year,” the source said.

A law-enforcement source scoffed at Butts demands — which were reminiscent of the Rev. Al Sharpton’s blasts at the NYPD when he shared the stage with Commissioner Bill Bratton and de Blasio at a widely ridiculed City Hall forum last summer.

“Not a chance that de Blasio could force Bratton to do these things,” the source told The Post. “Bratton is the police commissioner and has the final say.”

Meanwhile, Sharpton — whose support of de Blasio resulted in the black vote being split between Thompson and the mayor — will kick off his National Action Network’s annual convention on Wednesday at the Sheraton Times Square Hotel.

De Blasio will be there for the 9:30 a.m. opening, along with other city and state officials, clergy and activists.


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