President Donald Trump on Wednesday said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is wrong for painting “Black Lives Matter” along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, describing the slogan as a “symbol of hate.”
“NYC is cutting Police $s by ONE BILLION DOLLARS, and yet the @NYCMayor is going to paint a big, expensive yellow Black Lives Matter sign on Fifth Avenue, denigrating this luxury avenue,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
The president was responding to the City Councils decision to pass a measure that would cut $1 billion from the New York City Police Department (NYPD) amid a spike in violent crime in the city, including random attacks on elderly people.
Trump said the budget cuts, which were enacted after protesters and activists called to defund the police, will “further antagonize New Yorks Finest,” referring to NYPD officers.
“Maybe our GREAT Police, who have been neutralized and scorned by a mayor who hates & disrespects them, wont let this symbol of hate be affixed to New Yorks greatest street. Spend this money fighting crime instead!” he wrote.
Over the past several weeks, Trump has defended law enforcement, has sought to highlight acts of vandalism, and decried the removal of statues of various figures, including former President Woodrow Wilson and actor John Wayne. He also called out far-left agitators, arsonists, and rioters on Twitter.
On Wednesday, de Blasio said that the “Black Lives Matter” slogan will be painted on Fifth Avenue, adding that the location will be near the Trump Tower.
“Obviously we want the president to hear it because hes never shown respect for those three words,” de Blasio told MSNBC. “When he hears Black Lives Matter, he presents a horrible negative reality of something that doesnt exist, and he misses the underlying meaning that were saying we have to honor the role of African Americans in our history and our society.”