A coalition of clergy, including the Revs. Al Sharpton and Herbert Daughtry, plan to gather on the City Hall steps Tuesday to pray for Mayor Bill de Blasio as he faces attacks from New York City police unions.
Rank-and-file NYPD members staged a work slowdown. They also turned their back on de Blasio's televised image when he delivered eulogies at funerals for the two officers who died in a Brooklyn ambush Dec. 20. The gunman said online he wanted to kill cops to avenge the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown at the hands of police.
Policemen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch has slammed de Blasio for statements of empathy for protesters in the Garner case. The unions viewed his remarks as disparaging of police. Lynch said after the slayings of the two officers that de Blasio had "blood on his hands."
Discussing the prayer vigil plans Saturday at Sharpton's National Action Network headquarters in Harlem, Daughtry said, "We all know that he's (the mayor) under severe criticism, particularly from the police, but not only the police."
When asked about Lynch's comments specifically, Daughtry, 83, said, "It's the reason that we all need prayer."
Among the vigil organizers is Bishop Orlando Findlayter, the Brooklyn minister at the center of a controversy last February over an inquiry call the mayor made to the NYPD while Findlayter was in a precinct jail cell. Findlayter had been arrested on an outstanding warrant issued when he failed to show up to court to address a traffic charge.
Daughtry is pastor of the Brooklyn-based House of the Lord Pentecostal Church.