De Blasio spoke on Saturday in a Harlem tribute to the South African leader who died earlier this week. De Blasio was joined by the Rev. Al Sharpton, the city’s soon-to-be police commissioner Bill Bratton and former mayor David Dinkins.
Mandela’s first stop on his 1990 U.S. visit was New York, where he was welcomed by Dinkins and de Blasio, then a mayoral aide. It was just months after his 27-year incarceration ended.
The mayor-elect said on Saturday that it’s now up to New York to live in Mandela’s spirit of economic and racial equality.
De Blasio says Mandela is the socially progressive model the city should follow.
The incoming police commissioner said there would be freedom and equality for all under his leadership. “My commitment to you is that your police force, in your city, will be respectful. It will practice what Mandela preached,” Bratton said.