On Thursday morning, during a radio appearance on Hot 97’s “Ebro in the Morning” show, hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons called Mayor Bill de Blasio a “punk,” and also a “bitch,” over his perceived deference to Governor Andrew Cuomo and Commissioner Bill Bratton.
“Our police commissioner is bullying our punk mayor that we worked so hard to put in office,” Simmons said. “He knows his kids are at risk. He knows that if a cop shoots his kid and there is no footage, that cop is not getting charged. And that’s because there are no special prosecutors. There should be independent prosecutors who don’t work for the police who have to look at these cases individually.”
“The governor can appoint one tomorrow,” said Simmons. “He has the legal right, and he promised me—Governor Cuomo said, if I can’t change the law, if there is no legislation that brings in special prosecutors to oversee police, then I will appoint one. And that was Governor Cuomo’s promise not only to me but to the people of New York State. And he has not done it. And Mayor de Blasio has not said a word because he’s a punk.”
“He should have told them, ‘turn around or go home,” Simmons said. “He got the police commissioner pushing him around like he’s a bitch. And it’s shocking to me that he’s not stood up for the people of New York.”
At Mayor de Blasio’s direction, Commissioner Bratton has retrained officers and stopped excessive stop and frisk which the Mayor believes led to unconstitutional searches of innocent people of color but did nothing to reduce crime overall.
We also welcome and encourage Mr. Simmons’ help with convincing Albany and the Governor’s Office to reform rental regulations by ending vacancy control and developer bonuses, as well as the exorbitant tax credits that developers get without building any affordable housing.
These reforms would go a long way toward helping people of color find and keep homes they can afford.