Like any other year in New York City, 2014 was full of highs, lows and everything in between.
Jan. 1: De Blasio vows to bring progressive vision to New York City
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s inaugurationturned the page on 12 years of Michael Bloomberg.
De Blasio and his supporters devoted speeches to ripping into Bloomberg’s record — without ever saying the name of the 71-year-old former mayor as he sat in the front row.
New Public Advocate Letitia James spoke derisively of hospital closures, stop-and-frisk, and “decrepit homeless shelters and housing developments [that] stand in the neglected shadow of gleaming multi-million dollar condos.”
Thew new mayor himself acknowledged those who doubt his ability to realize his progressive agenda: “I know there are those who think that what I said during the campaign was just rhetoric, just ‘political talk’ in the interest of getting elected,” he said. “So let me be clear. When I said we would take dead aim at the Tale of Two Cities, I meant it.”
Jan. 7: City breaks 118-year-old record as New Yorkers endure freezing weather
Days into Mayor de Blasio’s first week on the job, New Yorkers were forced to deal with the “polar vortex” and its subsequent record-low temperatures.Hitting a low of 4 degrees, thereby breaking a 118-year-old record, residents also dealt with some 4 feet of snow — the most snowfall in a January-February period.
But freezing winds and piling snow did little to deter the new administration as de Blasio declined close schools. The move angered parents around the city, with NBC weatherman Al Roker taking the mayor to task on Twitter, tweeting: “Long range DiBlasio forecast: 1 term.”
March 12: Eight confirmed dead in East Harlem explosion
Eight people died and dozens — including at least three children — were injured whenan explosion caused two buildings in Manhattan’s East Harlem to collapseon a Wednesday morning.
Blocks surrounding the buildings were submerged in ash and smoke. Witnesses said locals ran from the explosion on streets littered with car parts and glass. The explosion, which was only feet away from Metro-North railroad tracks, threw a harsh spotlight on New York’s aging and underfunded infrastructure.
April 6: Two police officers critically injured in Coney Island blaze
NYPD Officer Dennis Guerra, 38, died after he and partner Rosa Rodriguez, 36,responded to a blaze in an 18-story public housing buildingin Coney Island. Both officers were overcome by the heat and smoke investigators alleged was caused by 16-year-old Marcell Dockery lighting a mattress in a hallway.
Rodriguez spent weeks in critical care, finally going home after more than a month in local burn units. NYPD adjusted its protocols after the fire and banned the use elevators while responding to future blazes.
June 2: 6-year-old boy killed, friend injured in Brooklyn elevator by stabber
Prince Joshua “P.J.” Avitto, 6, and his friend Mikayla Capers, 7, stepped into an elevator on their way to get some ice cream whenpolice said Daniel St. Hubert attacked both with a knife, killing Avitto.
Residents in East New York’s Boulevard Houses blamed a lack of surveillance cameras and adequate security for the death, prompting the city to commit $27 million on new cameras in NYCHA buildings.
July 18: Arrested Eric Garner dies while in police custody
Eric Garner, 43, was seen selling untaxed cigarettes on Bay Street in Tompkinsville around 4:45 p.m., police said.When authorities attempted to arrest him for the violation, officials said he went into cardiac arrest. He was taken to Richmond University Medical Center and pronounced dead.
An amateur video shows Garner being put into a chokehold by cop Daniel Pantaleo during the arrest. “I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!” Garner is heard screaming, before he stops shouting and appears unconscious.
July 27: Times Square Spider-Man hauled off after punching cop: NYPD
An amateur Spider-Man was anything but a heroafter authorities said he punched an officer to evade arrest. Police identified the masked menace as Junior Bishop, 25, of Brooklyn after he was collared on Saturday afternoon for assaulting the arresting police officer, resisting arrest, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct.
The violent spat was only one of an increasing number of confrontations between costumed buskers and police, prompting local leaders to pursue some sort of licensing for the street performers.
Sept. 21: People’s Climate March takes Manhattan
More than 310,000 people flooded midtown Manhattan with one main message ahead of the United Nation’s Climate Summit:do something about climate change.
“My kid’s life is on the line,” said Kim Gaddy, 50, an organizer with Clean Water Action in Newark. Nate Barnett, a student from Dillard University in New Orleans, said he knew he needed to march in New York because of the continued “devastation” from Hurricane Katrina.
Nov. 11: Local doctor declared Ebola-free, released from hospital after scare
Dr. Craig Spencer, at the time the only remaining Ebola patient in the United States, was released from Bellevue Hospital afterofficials said he’d been cured of the virus, and was no longer a public health risk.
Spencer, 33, had been treating Ebola patients in Guinea with Doctors Without Borders for five weeks before he returned to New York and traveled between Manhattan and Brooklyn, creating a stir of concern that Spencer risked infecting others.
Dec. 4: New Yorkers protest after officer not prosecuted for Garner death
Angry New Yorkers marched on the Rockefeller Center Christmas toprotest a Staten Island grand jury’s decision not to indict NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleoin the alleged chokehold death of Eric Garner. Protests and demonstrations began to occur almost daily.
Weeks later, tens of thousands of New Yorkers marked from Union Square up Fifth Avenue to Midtown Saturday and back to Police Plaza, to call for an end to police brutality and demand justice for Eric Garner and other victims of encounters with police.
Dec. 20: Tensions worsen between City Hall, police after two NYPD officers murdered in Brooklyn
Two NYPD officers were killed in broad daylight, shot while sitting in a patrol car in Brooklyn. Police said Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who authorities said shot and killed himself in a nearby subway station, posted anti-police content on social media before shooting the officers.
Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were pronounced dead at Woodhull Hospital, after which officers turned their backs on Mayor de Blasio, withunion leaders blaming him for encouraging anger towards police.