New York is indeed a tale of two cities: One for regular schlubs and another for friends of Bill de Blasio.
A member of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s transition team who had two outstanding warrants was arrested Monday night after a traffic stop but was spared a night in jail in a case in which the mayor contacted a top police official, New York Police Department officials said.
Bishop Orlando Findlayter, the pastor of New Hope Christian church in Queens, endorsed Mr. de Blasio in June, when the candidate was running behind in the polls. The bishop helped solidify Mr. de Blasio’s support among African Americans, and he was named to the mayor’s inaugural committee and transition team.
“The mayor’s press office is in routine contact with its communications counterparts at the NYPD, as with every agency,” said de Blasio spokesman Phil Walzak. He said the mayor reached out to police to “get clarification on word that there had been an arrest of a respected local clergyman.”
The bishop didn’t return calls for comment.
Mr. de Blasio called NYPD Deputy Chief Kim Royster, a top official in the NYPD’s press office, shortly after two New York City police officers pulled over Bishop Findlayter as he drove a 2012 Lincoln sedan at 11:21 p.m. at the southeast corner of Clarkson Avenue and East 92nd Street in Brooklyn, according to an arrest report. The officers said the bishop had made a left turn without signaling, according to the report.
As the officers ran Bishop Findlayter’s driver’s license information through crime databases, the report said, they learned that he had two arrest warrants issued on Jan.16 for failing to appear in court. The bishop had been arrested at an immigration reform protest in Manhattan on Oct. 16 but the report said he allegedly didn’t pay his fine or go to court after being released with a summons, instead of spending the night in a holding cell.
The officers on Monday night arrested the bishop and charged him with aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle in the third degree and making an illegal left turn, according to the arrest report. The officers took him to the 67th precinct, the report said.
Normally, officers who stop someone and find an arrest warrant are required to hold the suspect until he can be taken to court to clear up the warrants, court officials said. The arraignment court in Brooklyn was set to close at 1 a.m. Tuesday, before officers could get the bishop there to see a judge.
Guess we could say he acted stupidly. Nice message he’s sending there to the law-abiding citizens when his political buddies aren’t held accountable for lawbreaking.
Just imagine the howls from certain black reverends if Rudy Giuliani or Michael Bloomberg spared their friends from the normal due process. Oh, and if you think this doesn’t send a message:
Court officials said Bishop Findlayter did not appear in court on Tuesday.