Catsimatidis: NYPD should have sent rioters to Rikers

The Red Apple Group CEO on rioting, running for mayor, and running a family business

On the latest episode of The Real Deal‘s Coffee Talk, Red Apple Group CEO John Catsimatidis sat down with TRD publisher Amir Korangy to discuss the state of New York City’s civic affairs.

Catsimatidis, whose holdings include grocery store chain Gristedes and oil refineries, said he’s considering another run as mayor — but only if there’s no one more qualified.

When pressed to name a suitable mayoral candidate, Catsimatidis noted that he wanted to see someone who had the “courage” to stand up to the political protests sweeping the city.

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“These Black lives people don’t speak for the residents of Harlem,” said Catsimatidis, who has drawn criticism over the years for making controversial statements.

The mogul, who grew up in the neighborhood and got his start working at the Red Apple grocery store on 137th Street, said many of the city’s political leaders “have a lot of common sense.”

“The mayor is a smart guy, [Comptroller] Scott Stringer is a smart guy,” he said. “But besides being smart, you have to stand up against things that are wrong.”

Asked what he would have done as mayor, Catsimatidis said, “I would have ordered the police department [to] arrest those people who are rioting, put them in Rikers… and lose the key for 30 days.”

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