Bill de Blasio to Meet With New York Protesters

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Mayor Bill de Blasio will meet this week with some organizers of the recent New York protests, City Hall announced on Tuesday. The police, meanwhile, are aggressively investigating the assault of two lieutenants during a protest last weekend and are asking for the public’s help to identify several suspects.

Mr. de Blasio will meet at City Hall on Friday with members of Justice League NYC, one of the groups that has staged the protests, said Marti Adams, a spokeswoman for the mayor.

“At that meeting, the mayor will hear firsthand the concerns of this group, and will detail the substantive policy changes that he and the police commissioner have already put in place to bring police and community closer together, all while keeping crime low,” Ms. Adams said in a statement. “He will also reiterate his calls for protests to be nonviolent and respectful.”

About a dozen organizers from Justice League NYC and other groups will attend the meeting, said Michael Skolnik, a Justice League board member and a political director for Russell Simmons, the hip-hop entrepreneur and social activist.

The meeting comes after protesters staged a demonstration at City Hall and later descended on Gracie Mansion to demand a sit-down with the mayor.

The group, a task force of criminal justice reform advocates, artists, convicted felons and others, has staged daily protests since Dec. 3, when a grand jury declined to bring criminal charges against a white police officer in the death of Eric Garner, a black Staten Island man. The group is pushing officials to meet a list of demands that includes firing the officer, Daniel Pantaleo, and ending the “broken windows” policing strategy, which targets petty crimes.

Justice League NYC met last week with Eric T. Schneiderman, the state attorney general, and is seeking a session with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

On Tuesday, the police released photos of seven suspects sought in connection with the assault of the two lieutenants during the protest on the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday night. They also asked for help in identifying nine witnesses who could provide information for the investigation.

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SOURCE: NY Times
Nikita Stewart and Emma G. Fitzsimmons