WHITE PLAINS, NY — Westchester County Executive George Latimer is one of the few remaining elected Democrats in New York openly defending Governor Andrew Cuomo but the only elected official doing so by portraying Andrew Cuomo as Emmett Till.
Emmett Louis Till was a 14-year-old African American who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955, after being accused of offending a white woman in her family’s grocery store. Till’s supposed “crime” was sexually harassing the woman by whistling at her or flirting with her.
Last week Latimer published a shocking statement on calls for Governor Cuomo to resign which included the eye-popping comparison of Cuomo to Emmett Till:
In our world, no matter how heinous the crime committed, we presume innocence until guilt is proven. That standard, when we adhere to it, protects you and me. And when it is not adhered to, when a mob hangs Emmet Till, the “justice” turns out to be a crime itself.
The “mob” looking to lynch Cuomo, according to Latimer, includes Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Congressional Rep. Jamaal Bowman, Congressional Rep. Mondaire Jones — all African-American leaders who have called on Cuomo to step down.
This is not to mention Senator Charles Schumer, Senator Kirstin Gillebrand, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, and local state representatives Assemblywoman Amy Paulin and State Senator Shelley Mayer among many others who have called for Cuomo’s resignation.
Latimer gave a video statement yesterday on the same theme of backing New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s position on sexual harassment allegations to wait, spouting Cuomo talking points, without mentioning his Emmett Till comparison.
The two statements came after Latimer admitted he took what has been described in media accounts as one of many high-pressure “loyalty” calls to County Executives from Cuomo’s COVID Czar Larry Schwartz.
Schwartz has been accused of linking demands for loyalty to Cuomo to the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines by The Washington Post and New York Times.
Cuomo has refused to resign based on a growing number of allegations from women who worked for him, claiming it would be “anti-democratic” for him to resign, asking that reporters and “reckless” politicians wait until an investigation is completed by outside counsel hired by New York State Attorney General Tish James.
Latimer echoed Cuomo’s calls for patience in reading from a prepared statement, citing harm to the democratic system if Cuomo were to resign before James completed her investigation into the allegations against Cuomo, which the Governor has repeatedly denied.
Latimer portrayed his support of Cuomo as not wanting to undermine the investigation run by a woman.
Latimer said he and Schwartz had an “amicable” phone call days before Latimer posting a similar endorsement of Cuomo’s position on calls for the Governor to step down.
Latimer also preached patience on efforts in Albany to impeach Cuomo based less on allegations of sexual harassment and more on lies about nursing home deaths.
Latimer did not address reports that Cuomo and his administration lied about the number of nursing home deaths from coronavirus, obstructed a Federal investigation and altered records to cover up the number of deaths resulting from Cuomo’s policy forcing nursing homes to take in patients sick with the virus.
Latimer then offered a lecture on the importance of “truth” that built upon his Facebook statement where he wrote:
No one is without sin or guilt in some measure. That is what my faith teaches me in the Lenten season, and it is true. It is true with me, and it is true with you.
This from a politician with a long track record of lying to his wife about his affairs, lying to his State Senate colleagues, as well as police, reporters and more.
Latimer lied to New Rochelle police after he ran a red light, struck another vehicle and crashed through a fence into a family’s backyard — claiming, according to police records, he was “temporarily blinded” by the sun when he blew through a red-light at an intersection on Wilmot Road.
Latimer lied to reporters from the Journal News when caught driving a vehicle with a suspended registration (The City of Yonkers reported Latimer to the Department of Motor Vehicles as a scofflaw; it later emerged Latimer had thousands of dollars in unpaid parking violations in municipalities throughout Westchester).
Latimer lied to Senate leadership to skip budget votes, claiming he was taking his wife to England (instead he took his gal pal, then-Judge Susan Kettner, who he recently hired for a six-figure position within his administration).
Latimer has frequently described his 14% increase in the County Sales Tax as a 1% increase in the sales tax.
Latimer’s staff has repeatedly lied about Freedom of Information Law requests and appeals filed by Talk of the Sound, a story we will soon publish.
We have requested statements from CE George Latimer, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Congressional Rep. Jamaal Bowman, Congressional Rep. Mondaire Jones as well as Assemblywoman Inez Dickens and NAACP New York President Hazel Dukes.
UPDATE: A Latimer spokesperson declined to answer our questions and referred us instead to the non-responsive video statement on YouTube issued yesterday, 5 days after the statement published on Facebook we asked about.
Latimer Statement on Facebook March 10, 2021
UPDATE: PoliticsNY website rows back, disappears Emmett Till comparison by Manhattan Assemblywoman.
Pretty much the worst take ever to compare the brutally killed 14 year old Emmitt Till to the most powerful and privileged white man in the state. https://t.co/HNKGho8C0j— Yuh-Line Niou (@yuhline) March 15, 2021