Police confirmed Chiara de Blasio, 25, was arrested for unlawful assembly during protests on Saturday night

By Benjamin VanHoose
June 01, 2020 10:38 AM
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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's daughter was among those arrested during protests over the weekend.

On Saturday night, Chiara de Blasio, 25, was taken into custody at about 10:30 p.m. local time, the New York City Police Department confirmed to PEOPLE. She was arrested for unlawful assembly, police said, then issued a desk appearance ticket and released.

The gathering was in Lower Manhattan, according to the New York Post, which first reported that Chiara was allegedly blocking traffic and refused to move.

According to WCMH, at least 345 people were arrested in New York City on Saturday during gatherings throughout the city. The Mayor — who also shares son Dante with wife Chirlane McCray — has not addressed his daughter's arrest, but spoke about the protests during a press conference on Saturday.

Chiara de Blasio and Bill de Blasio in 2015
Louise Wateridge/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

"To the peaceful protesters ... let me be very clear: we hear your desire to change these issues, the relationship between police and community, the need for justice, the need for real change in our society," de Blasio, 59, said. "We hear you loud and clear."

Added the Mayor: "We appreciate and respect all peaceful protest. ... Change is coming in this city."

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Cities across the U.S. have experienced organized protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing, with some demonstrations erupting into riots. Sizable gatherings have been documented in Los Angeles, Louisville, Atlanta and elsewhere.

On Twitter, McCray wrote that the "pain of George Floyd’s death should be felt and understood by every single American."

Protesters kneel in front of New York City Police during a march to honor George Floyd near Union Square on Sunday in New York City.
John Moore/Getty Images

"The chilling nature of his demise is not a black problem or a white problem, a Minnesota problem or a D.C. problem, but an American problem," she tweeted, adding, "Most protests have been peaceful demonstrations of hurt and rage, although some have been marred by violence."

She added: "We can use civil disobedience to acknowledge our horror at seeing a man lose his life under the unyielding knee of a police officer, and also find other ways to address inequities and racism."

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De Blasio, in a statement over the weekend, said "structural racism haunts the lives of people of color."

"What we're seeing is an overflow due to decades of injustices," he said of the nationwide demonstrations and unrest. "I see my own privilege and can only understand so much. I know enough to say that for the Black community every day is pervaded by racism. We will do better."

Speaking to residents planning to protest, de Blasio encouraged everyone on Friday to participate in peaceful gatherings, and said police were told to, in turn, "respect peaceful protest."

"To everyone protesting and expressing that anger and pain, please remember how important it is to protest peacefully. Please remember that we're in the middle of a pandemic," he said. "We have to do all we can to protect each other. Everyone out there has a responsibility."