Meet The People Behind The Bizarre De Blasio Pot Banner

January 14, 2015 | Rhett Jones

Another banner with a pro-NYPD/anti-de Blasio message flew over the city on Tuesday, but this one was a little more specifically personal than the previous notes. It read, “DE BLASIO GET OFF THE POT. RESIGN. WE ❤ NYPD.” According the Daily News the sky high message is a reference to de Blasio’s college days when he enjoyed partaking in a little weed.

The mayor has previously said he hasn’t touched the ganja since his academic years, so it would seem the banner’s request is at least halfway fulfilled. The News spoke with the sponsors of the protest banner as well as the man who was paid to fly it:

The 130-foot-long message was the third since last week sponsored by “Retired NYPD For a Safe New York,” a group of ex-cops pushing de Blasio to resign in the wake of the Mayor’s alleged lack of support for the NYPD, and the fifth flown, by any group, since Dec. 26 …

The organizer of the group that sponsored the banner, a retired NYPD captain who identified himself as “Capt. Dave,” told The News that Tuesday’s ensign was designed to show that many former officers had “lost confidence in the Mayor’s ability to effectively lead New York City.”

“The banner flying today across the Hudson River is our latest protest against the utter lack of respect that Mayor De Blasio evinces for the NYPD and is a follow up our two banners that flew last Tuesday,” Capt. Dave, who served on the force for 21 years, said.

The Daily News also spoke with Ashley Chalmers (seen in the video above), the owner and chief pilot of Jersey Shore Aerial Advertising. Chalmers’s company has flown the last three banners and he’s been thrilled with business. The anti-de Blasio commissions have come in just after a nice season flying banners calling for the New York Jets to fire its coach, so it’s been a good year. When it comes to Chalmers’s personal politics, he tells the News:

“I always try to stay neutral. But you have to side with the NYPD,” he said of the current conflict. “I think that de Blasio is doing a poor job if he’s trying to run a city and at the same time is undermining the people that are being paid to protect it. It’s a difficult situation for everybody.”

Did Chalmers understand what the banner was trying to say? “I didn’t get the whole thing at first. Then it kind of kicked in. Yeah, I thought it was pretty funny.”

(Photo: The Daily News)