An early supporter of Bill de Blasio’s, who went on to make his inaugural committee, was arrested this week during a traffic stop but released without having to spend the night in jail — after the mayor made a call to the NYPD, The Wall Street Journal reports. That doesn’t look good.
The specifics, though, are possibly a bit less shady.
Bishop Orlando Findlayter, of the New Hope Christian church in Queens, had two outstanding warrants for failing to appear in court last month after he was arrested at an immigration reform protest. With the local court set to close before he could be arraigned on Monday, when he was pulled over for making a left turn without signaling, Findlayter was let go at the discretion of the precinct chief, who also knew the bishop personally.
Mayor de Blasio, according to the NYPD press officer who took his inquiry, did not request his release. “We always get inquiries from the mayor’s office, and the inquiry we received is if this individual was arrested or taken into custody,” she said.
“NYPD spokesman Stephen Davis said officers in the department have some discretion to release people with outstanding warrants when there is no risk to the community,” the Journal reports. (Findlayter said he believed a lawyer had taken care of his outstanding legal issues.)
So de Blasio may not have crossed the line. But it still doesn’t look good.