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De Blasio to meet with protest group on NYPD

Mayor Bill de Blasio and first lady Chirlane

Mayor Bill de Blasio and first lady Chirlane McCray were guests on ABC's "The View" Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. Photo Credit: ABC / Lou Rocco

Organizers behind some of the recent rallies around the city for criminal justice reform will meet privately with Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday at City Hall to press their demands.

The Justice League NYC -- backed by music industry magnate Russell Simmons, the rapper Nas and singer/activist Harry Belafonte -- said its list includes the immediate firing of the NYPD officer whose use of an apparent chokehold preceded Eric Garner's July 17 death, said Simmons' political director Michael Skolnik.

"We come with demands, but also with respect for the things he's already done as mayor," Skolnik said Tuesday. "The people of the city have earned the meeting because they've shown their grievances against the government."

Mayoral spokeswoman Marti Adams said the meeting will be "part of the administration's ongoing dialogue with diverse groups of New Yorkers."

"The mayor will hear firsthand the concerns of this group and will detail the substantive policy changes that he and the police commissioner have already put in place to bring police and community closer together, all while keeping crime low," Adams said.

Skolnik said about 15 group members will attend, and that he does not expect NYPD Commissioner William Bratton to be at the meeting.

Justice League members were among the tens of thousands who marched Saturday in Manhattan. After the peaceful protest ended, a splinter group of demonstrators assaulted two officers on the Brooklyn Bridge, police said.

The planned meeting comes amid friction between de Blasio and police union leaders following a Dec. 3 grand jury decision not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo in Garner's death.

In a statement, Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said the mayor should not meet with the Justice League "until they publicly denounce the individuals who assaulted police officers" or tried "to incite violence."

Lynch has attacked de Blasio for such comments as recounting cautions to his son about dealing with police. The PBA on Friday posted a form letter encouraging officers to ban de Blasio from their funerals if they die in the line of duty.

De Blasio, appearing on ABC's "The View" Tuesday, accused Lynch of "really breaking our civility" with the funerals letter.

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