NYC Mayor Didn’t Tell Police to Free Ally, Spokesman Says

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio placed a telephone call to police after the arrest of a supporter and didn’t ask for the man’s release, a City Hall spokesman said.

Bishop Orlando Findlayter was pulled over while driving on Feb. 10 when he made a left turn without signaling, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. He was arrested on two outstanding warrants for failing to appear in court after being arrested at an immigration protest, according to the newspaper.

The mayor, who took office last month, contacted police “to get clarification on word that there had been an arrest of a respected local clergyman,” spokesman Phil Walzak said by e-mail. “The mayor did not ask for the bishop to be allowed to go home for the evening. As the Wall Street Journal report states, the local precinct commander made the call based on the facts on the ground.”

Findlayter endorsed de Blasio, a 52-year-old Democrat, as he foundered in polls in June. The mayor’s campaign identified him as the senior pastor at New Hope Christian Fellowship, calling him “an active leader in the Caribbean community” in a statement at the time. In November, de Blasio named Findlayter to his transition team.

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