NYPD: The values of Parade’s committee do not promote peace and unity
NYPD Head Won’t March in Puerto Rican Day Parade Over ‘Terrorist’ Honoree
By Aidan Gardiner
MANHATTAN — The NYPD’s commissioner won’t march in this year’s Puerto Rican Day Parade in protest of the organization’s decision to honor an extremist implicated in the 1975 bombing of Fraunces Tavern that killed four people, he said Monday.
— Azi (@Azi) May 22, 2017
Commissioner James O’Neill also called the honoree, Oscar López Rivera, 74, a «terrorist,» according to reports.
O’Neill said he’d go to the parade — but only to visit the police officers who are working the route on June 11, from West 44th Street to West 79th Street.
.@NYPDONeill says he will not march in Puerto Rican day parade. Will attend to greet police officers providing security.
— Erin Durkin (@erinmdurkin) May 22, 2017
The parade’s organizers, who didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, named Rivera as its leader on Wednesday when his house arrest officially ended.
Rivera, the onetime head of the FALN organization, had spent the past 35 years behind bars until January when President Barack Obama commuted his sentence for participating in more than 100 bombings in the name of Puerto Rican independence.
Mayor Bill de Blasio had defended the parade’s right to include Lopez Rivera, saying that while he «didn’t agree with his tactics,» he’d served his time behind bars and renounced violence.
«All things considered, I understand why so many Puerto Ricans – that’s almost 700,000 people in this city – respect that he fought for Puerto Rico in their eyes. I don’t agree with the way he did it. But he did serve his time. He was pardoned appropriately,» the mayor said.
«So I’m going to do everything I would normally do with the parade,» de Blasio added.
In 1982, the group bombed NYPD headquarters on New Year’s Eve, seriously wounding three officers.
O’Neill is the latest to protest Rivera’s involvement in the annual parade.
The NYPD Hispanic Society and the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association also pulled out after Lopez Rivera was announced.
Latino food distributor Goya Food also decided to withdraw sponsorship of the parade, calling it «a business decision.»
— NYPDHispanic Society (@NYPDHispanic) May 18, 2017