De Blasio CNN town hall interrupted by protester

White House hopeful Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioDe Blasio to Buttigieg: 'Try to not be so smug when you just got your ass kicked' New York attorney general threatens to sue NYC over alleged taxi fraud Bloomberg compared civil libertarians, teachers union to NRA 'extremists' in 2013: report MORE's CNN town hall on Sunday evening was interrupted by a protester heckling the New York City mayor over his handling of the Eric Garner case.

Garner was killed during an arrest by a police officer in 2014. 

The police officer, Daniel Pantaleo, was fired by the New York Police Department last week after years of protests and criticism over how the incident was handled by the mayor's office.


Garner, an unarmed black man, died after Pantaleo placed him in a chokehold while attempting to arrest him for selling untaxed cigarettes on the street.

When asked about the incident during his town hall, de Blasio said the man “should not have died” and that “there can never be another Eric Garner in this city or any place else in this country.”

“What we learned immediately after the tragedy of Eric Garner was we had to do pretty much everything differently,” de Blasio added.

A few minutes later a woman in the audience shouted at de Blasio.

“What about Lieutenant [Christopher] Bannon? What about Officer [Mark] Ramos? ... What about other officers?” she yelled, referring to officers also on the scene of Garner’s arrest. 

De Blasio did not respond.

Justice League NYC took credit for the heckling and identified the woman as Julianne Hoffenberg in a statement to The Hill.

"Tonight the Mayor learned that if he is going to actually be in the city, then he must focus on the city," Carmen Perez, co-founder of the criminal justice reform advocacy group, said.

"If the Mayor continues to pursue the Presidency, choosing national TV airtime over reforming the NYPD, then the grassroots activists of New York will appear on camera with him, calling him out for his neglect of our communities. Justice League NYC, just as we have tonight, will continue to put pressure on de Blasio to end his campaign and start focusing on bringing accountability and transparency to the NYPD." 

De Blasio has received significant criticism for spending time pursuing a presidential bid, which has failed to pick up steam, while also serving as mayor.

He also faced protests from the crowd regarding Garner's death during the second round of Democratic debates last month.