New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio allegedly ordered the New York Police Department to clear the homeless from the subway stops he was arriving at and leaving from ahead of his publicity ride, according to a report from the New York Post.
On Sunday, de Blasio decided to make a ceremonial ride on the embattled and aging subway system to his new re-election headquarters in downtown Brooklyn.
But sources told the New York Post that the police had until 11 a.m. to prepare the Fourth Avenue/Ninth Street and Jay Street/MetroTech F train stations for the mayor’s ride, and that apparently meant removing the homeless to make the system look “nice.”
An anonymous law enforcement source told the New York paper:
“I wish he had the same attention to detail when he wasn’t on the subway. Too bad he doesn’t care about quality of life for all passengers and not just himself.”
Republican Staten Island Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, de Blasio’s presumptive challenger in the upcoming election, took the opportunity to slam the mayor once again:
"For someone who claims to care about the most poor New Yorkers, to have someone clear his path when he’s about to board the subway … tells you all you need to know about Mayor de Blasio.
These are fellow New Yorkers who are sleeping in the street, sleeping in the subway. The mayor just doesn’t care."
City Hall and the mayor's spokesman are denying that any homeless were kicked out of the subway. Press secretary Eric Phillips noted that “the mayor had a few-minute chat with a homeless person” when he exited the subway.
He also channeled a piece of the Trump administration's style in a statement to the New York Daily News:
“Readers should know that these sources are refusing to provide their names because what they are saying is not true.”
Not only that, the Daily News interviewed a homeless woman who claimed she was there. She said:
“He’s so tall. He was very cordial, very polite. I wanted to talk to him about the homeless, but I didn’t. But no one told me to leave.”
Mayor de Blasio is up for re-election this year on November 7. The state of the city's public transportation and homeless population have been a heated subject in the months leading up to the big day.