Mayor Bill de Blasio expressed fatherly pride, a day after learning his daughter Chiara was among the hundreds of protesters arrested during Saturday night demonstrations against police brutality, which fanned out across the city and at times resulted in violent encounters with police.
“I love my daughter deeply. I honor her. She is such a good human being. She only wants to do good in the world,” de Blasio said Monday during a press conference on Monday morning, a day after a third day of protests ended in looting, vandalism and violent scuffles with police.
“She wants to see a better and more peaceful world. She believes a lot of change is needed. I'm proud of her that she cares so much and she was willing to go out there and do something about it,” de Blasio added.
The mayor, who for days has struggled to hone a message of solidarity with those protesting police brutality while also standing by the biggest police force in the nation, said he did not learn about his daughter’s arrest until the press asked his aides about it on Sunday night.
“She's 25 years old and did not inform Chirlane and I [of] have her intention to get arrested,”de Blasio said. “I knew of some of her views. I knew she believed in peaceful protest. I knew she had participated a few nights ago, but in a peaceful manner.”
Sources tell NY1 Chiara, 25, was arrested Saturday night near the intersection of 12th Street and Broadway along with approximately 100 other demonstrators who were blocking the road and throwing “unknown objects” in the direction of police.
Sources said Chiara was given a desk appearance ticket for disorderly conduct.
De Blasio, who has made his biracial family a centerpiece of his political career, defended the actions of his daughter, saying she told him that she was peacefully protesting but was placed under arrest.
“I admire that she was out there trying to change something that she thought was unjust and doing it in a peaceful manner,” de Blasio said “It's a reality that every parent faces that you never know when your kids become adults, how they're going to go about their lives. Sometimes you get surprises.”
De Blasio’s two children and his wife, Chirlane McCray, have played a big role in his political career, but Chiara has been the more private of the two children.
It was de Blasio’s ad featuring his then teenage son, Dante de Blasio, that helped to catapult his 2013 campaign to victory on the message of police reform and inequality.
On Sunday night, as news of Chiara’s arrest was reported, the Sergeant’s Benevolent Association, a law enforcement union that frequently spars with the mayor, tweeted a photo of the arrest record, which also revealed personal details about the First Daughter.
Twitter quickly removed the Tweet because it violated the social media’s company’s rules. The mayor was critical of the union, which has often accused him of not siding with police officers.
“The SBA did something unconscionable and it's not just cause it's my daughter,” de Blasio said. They do this all the time with people's privacy. This is another one of the things that has to change. Look, police unions could be part of the change and the improvement in the city and this country.”