Mayor Bill de Blasio: Well, In the midst of a positive celebration behind us a very, very sad tragedy today in Orlando, Florida. Once again, the eyes of our nation, the eyes of the world turned to a city that has been the victim of terror. Our thoughts and our prayers are with all the families and with the people of Orlando. You can only imagine what they are going through right now – the pain they are feeling. And once again, we stand in solidarity as New York City knows so well what this feels like to be the victim of a terror attack.
Now, this attack another example of not just an attack on human beings, but an attack on our values; our values of tolerance and freedom and belief and respect for all faiths. It is something that we hold particularly dear here in New York City and it is under attack all over the world, but we will always a beacon of inclusion and tolerance and understanding.
What we have here, obviously, is the very early stages of the investigation. You will hear from Chief O’Neill in a moment. It’s an act of terror, there’s no question about that and it is an act of hate. We don’t know all the details, but we do know it was directed at an LGBT club and that was a club that was having a Latino Night. So, the investigation will look into all of the motivations, but from what we can see now both an act of terror and an act of hate.
For the people in New York City, I want you to know that at this point there are no credible threats directed against New York City. At the same time, we are on high alert. We have close coordination with all of our federal partners; with the Joint Terrorism Task force, the FBI, and all our partners. We are vigilant. We have deployed our Critical Response Command and our Strategic Response Group. So, you will see a lot of additional police presence on the streets of this City. You’ll see additional police presence in some of the heavy-trafficked areas of our city today. You’ll see police presence in front of some key LGBT community institutions – protecting the people of this city. And this is because a year ago we determined that we needed a large and sophisticated anti-terror force in this city. We now have over 500 men and women in or Critical Response Command, specially trained in the event. Their presence today will be reassuring, I know, to all my fellow New Yorker’s.
There is no city in the world better prepared to stop terror, to stop hate crimes – you will see the evidence of that in the coming days. b\But for now I want to just offer my solidarity to the people of Orlando and to all of our brothers and sisters in the LGBT community in Orlando, in New York City, and all over the world who are feeling the pain of this attack. We are going to order the flags of the City to half-staff to honor those who were lost. We’ll be lighting City Hall in the pride colors and tomorrow night there will be a vigil outside the Stonewall Inn in the Village, which I will be attending, I know, with many, many New Yorker’s in solidarity with all those who were lost.
Source: Mayors Office. Photo: Luiz Rampelotto/EuropaNewswire