Mayor Bill de Blasio

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY NETWORK

Mayor Holds Private Meeting On City High-Rise Jails Amid Backlash From Locals

December 18, 2018 - 1:53 pm
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Mayor Bill de Blasio held an invitation-only meeting Tuesday in Chinatown about his proposal to build a new 40-story jail in the area.

The Democratic mayor provided opening statements to reporters prior to his meeting with HUD Secretary Ben Carson over NYCHA, then the media was quickly shuffled out.

“Mass incarceration did not begin in New York City, but it will end in New York City we will be an example to this whole country. So, that's what brings us here, the recognition that we have to leave that reality behind. It was poisonous to our society,” the mayor said.

Though, outside the American Legion hall where the meeting was held, protesters were furious, saying the mayor does not care about the public’s input in the jail decision.

“They don't care about Chinatown, he doesn't come to Chinatown. Today he comes to Chinatown in the secret meeting that nobody can go. Is this a town hall meeting? No way,” one protester told WCBS 880.

“We’re opposed to his plan, because he’s just going to leave office and leave us a tower jail, which would kill Chinatown,” the protester added.

De Blasio announced the plan to replace the Rikers Island prison system in August. As part of the “roadmap to closing Rikers,” the city plans to erect new high-rise facilities in four of the five boroughs.