Public Advocate Bill de Blasio arrested during protest against hospital closure

In what his office hailed as an act of “civil disobedience,” Public Advocate and mayoral hopeful Bill de Blasio was arrested Wednesday during a protest against the closure of Brooklyn’s Long Island College Hospital.

“We are going to lose a vital community hospital in a matter of weeks unless something changes,” de Blasio said in a statement after being arrested for disorderly conduct.

De Blasio and other politicians joined nurses and healthcare workers to rally outside SUNY’s Midtown offices, protesting SUNY Downstate Medical Center’s moves toward closing the Cobble Hill hospital.

Though SUNY has said it would not seek to close the hospital, ambulances have been diverted from its emergency room. A judge ordered the hospital to retain enough staff to function, but the facility has still cleared out intensive care units, refusing to take in new patients in some wards, de Blasio and other protestors charge.

On Sunday, de Blasio sent a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo asking him to intervene.

“The Governor must act to save LICH, and SUNY Downstate must stop its end run around a judge’s direct order and commit to keeping this hospital up and running,” de Blasio said Wednesday.

Credit: Public Advocate's Office
Credit: Public Advocate’s Office

Two other mayoral candidates, Anthony Weiner and City Comptroller John Liu, were also at the protest but were not arrested. City Council member Stephen Levin was also arrested, along with the president and executive director of the New York State Nurses Association.

Another Democratic candidate, former City Council member Sal Albanese, alleged de Blasio got himself arrested on purpose because he was “desperate for headlines.”

Albanese, after touting his involvement in the cause, also slammed Weiner and Liu for participating in the protest.

“Johnny-come-latelys like Bill de Blasio, John Liu, and Tony Weiner are putting personal gain above the public interest. New Yorkers deserve better,” Albanese said in a statement.

A de Blasio campaign spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Albanese’s allegations.

As a City Council member, de Blasio was previously arrested in 2003 with the actor Steve Buscemi while protesting the closure of a Brooklyn firehouse.

After being arrested Wednesday, de Blasio said he was “proud” for his role in the protest.

“This is a moment for all New Yorkers to stand up and fight, and I’m proud to do my part,” he said.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Woman's body found floating in East River in…

A woman's body was found Tuesday morning floating in the East River near Clason Point in the Bronx. The NYPD responded to the scene shortly…

International

Hurricane Odile batters Mexico's Baja resorts, sparks looting

Hurricane Odile injured dozens of people, forced the evacuation of thousands and smashed shops open to looters in the popular tourist area of Baja, Mexico.

National

Apple iPhone 6 pre-orders hit record 4 million…

By Lehar Maan(Reuters) - Apple Inc said many customers will need to wait until next month for their new iPhones after a record 4 million…

National

LAPD investigates complaint from detained 'Django' actress

The LAPD is investigating after "Django Unchained" actress Daniele Watts accused police of violating her rights when they detained her.

The Word

The Word: Hey girl, it's a girl for…

It's a girl for Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, who reportedly welcomed a daughter last Friday, according to Us Weekly. The super-private couple managed to…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 16: 'New Girl,'…

Check out the season premiere of "New Girl," as Jess competes with Jessica Biel for a guy's attentions.

Movies

Newsflash: Corey Stoll still not a man

In director Shaun Levy's "This Is Where I Leave You," Corey Stoll stars as the oldest of four adult children (the others are played by…

Movies

If you don't like Simon Pegg's new film,…

Simon Pegg goes all out in "Hector and the Search for Happiness" as the titular psychiatrist stymied by modern life who embarks on a globetrotting…

NFL

Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.

NFL

Marty Mornhinweg accepts blame for Jets timeout fiasco

Jets fans looking for a scapegoat for Sunday’s timeout fiasco found a willing party on Monday: Marty Mornhinweg.

NFL

3 things we learned in Jets loss to…

The wheels came off for the Jets, who gave up 21 unanswered points after a brilliant first 20 minutes in a 31-24 loss at the Packers.

NFL

Victor Cruz catches case of the drops in…

The Giants dropped a tough, 25-14, decision to the undermanned Cardinals Sunday in their home opener. And drop was the operative word of the day,…

Style

London Fashion Week recap

London Fashion week gets in on the action with politics, heritage and summertime living.

Food

Padma Lakshmi's recipe for green mango curry

Padma Lakshmi shares her recipe for green mango curry in UNICEF's new book, "UNICHEF."

Travel

World's most hipster cities: Top 5

Travel blogger Adam Groffman tells us his picks for the Top 5 most hipster cities in the world.

Education

The top 5 regrets recent high school grads…

College application season can seem like a blur for many students - as test prep, campus visits and filling out a seemingly endless stream of…