An American-born man who pledged allegiance to ISIS gunned down 49 people early Sunday, June 12th, at a gay nightclub in Orlando, the deadliest mass shooting in the United States and the nation’s worst terror attack since 9/11, authorities said. In the wake of this domestic terrorism a Mount Vernon Deputy Police Commissioner shoots bullets of homophobic bigotry, calling Councilman Andre Wallace a ‘Cross Dressing Fag.’ Why there isn’t more outrage of the threatening of an elected official and the using of the word “fag” which is such a hateful word?
Where are the community leaders, the clergy, the activists, the elected officials. Two years ago, August 29, 2014, the city was outraged over the disrespect shown to then Councilman Richard Thomas by then Water Commissioner Anthony Bove. At the next City Council meeting, the chambers were full of residents who expressed their outrage of a Water Commissioner disrespecting a sitting City Councilman. What took place Saturday, June 18, 2016 was a lot worst, Deputy Commissioner Spiezio threatened Councilman Wallace, just six days after the tragic Orlando incident and had the arrogance to spew homophobic slurs like it was OK.
Like Councilman Thomas who chaired over DPW questioned what was being done at Memorial Field two years ago, Council Wallace who now chairs over DPW, questioned a company not licensed to operate in the city who was removing garbage and debris from 46-48 Mount Vernon Avenue on the corner of Bleeker Street in Mount Vernon. Why hasn’t there been more public outrage? Journal News columnist Phil Reisman asked the question is Spiezio Running Mount Vernon in his June 20th column?
Prejudice and bigotry of any kind should not be tolerated from a Deputy Police Commissioner, honorary or not. Then the arrogance of the Mount Vernon Police Department to issue a statement saying Councilman Wallace Threatens, Harasses Numerous People Including Deputy Commissioner Spiezio after the fact, despite video showing the complete opposite is intolerable. Even if it was meant as a joke, to get under the skin of the councilman, it should never be said by a Deputy Police Commissioner period, but we would expect our officials to have more decency than to publicly spew bullets of homophobic bigotry. We still have survivors of the Orlando shooting dealing with painful recoveries and mourning the loss of friends and family members, how inconsiderate can you be? [Editor’s Note: As of Saturday funerals for the first victims of the Orlando tragedy were ongoing.]
To add insult to injury, you have the Acting Police Commissioner Ronald Fatigate co-sign the shenanigans of Spiezio by being quoted in a false statement and therein lies the problem. Mayor Richard Thomas has not publicly said a word to the media or on social media as he has done so often for much less important matters. You are the leader of the city, what message does that send to the LGBT community of the City of Mount Vernon who voted for you. It begs one to question, do you too co-sign the homophobic slurs and threatening of a sitting City Councilman, even if you two aren’t on each other’s Christmas Card list right now.
A man who campaigned with you, raised money for you from fellow business owners who knew him but didn’t really know much about you. A man who had supporters of his also put up Richard Thomas For Mayor signs on their lawn just on the strength that he asked them to. As someone who worked closely with both of you on your campaigns I am very disappointed and expected more from you. You campaigned about Uniting Our City, what happened to that? Instead of speaking up against this bigoted atrocity you are doing the Running Man down the steps of City Hall on Saturday and again Monday night on the the stage at the Thorton High School graduation.
Martin Luther King Jr., a man you quoted and spoke of often on the campaign trail told us that Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. You should be outraged even if you are not gay, to those I say; an Injustice to anyone is a threat to justice for everyone. REAL TALK!
The June 22nd City Council Meeting should be full to capacity with those outraged by Spiezio’s actions and the quietness of Mayor Richard Thomas who we rallied behind when he was disrespected by former Water Commissioner Anthony Bove. To speak call the City Clerk’s office (914) 665-2348 by 2:00 P.M. on Wednesday to get on list to speak.