Two NYPD vehicles ram demonstrators at Brooklyn’s Prospect Heights who’d gathered to protest over the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.
Footage has emerged of a NYPD SUV ramming into a group of protesters in Brooklyn Saturday during the city’s third night of chaotic demonstrations over the death of George Floyd at the hands of a white Minneapolis cop.
Video shot in Brooklyn showed a stationary police car being swarmed by protesters pushing against a barricade along Flatbush Avenue near St. Marks Avenue in Prospect Heights. At the same time protesters can be seen pelting the vehicle with bottles, traffic cones and even bags of trash.
A second NYPD cruiser pulls up momentarily only to suddenly accelerate into the crowd. The first vehicle’s driver is also then seen moving forward into protesters who are knocked back before both vehicles finally stopping and crowds dispersing.
Video shows at least three people pushed to the side and almost run over as one police car drove on down the street as frightened demonstrators are heard screaming.
It remained unclear if any demonstrators sustained injuries with the NYPD to date declining to publicly address the incident.
— Pierre G. (@pgarapon) May 31, 2020
NYC Mayor appears to condone NYPD actions
Mayor Bill de Blasio said the incident is under investigation, while maintaining that the officers may have had no other choice.
‘I’m not going to blame officers who were trying to deal with an absolutely impossible situation. The folks who were converging on that police car did the wrong thing to begin with, and they created an untenable situation,’ he said. ‘I wish the officers had found a different approach, but let’s begin at the beginning. The protesters in that video did the wrong thing to surround that police car, period.
‘People who represent the communities of our city and the residents of our city are not joining negative and violent protests,’ de Blasio said.
The NYC Mayor’s comments were soon condemned with many demanding the officers be outed and arrested, including one Twitter user who posted, ‘Stop killing, beating, arresting and harassing the Mainstream public. U R the terrorists, NOT the PPL. And U R the ones creating the violence and fires and destruction w/ Ur Agent Provocateurs.’
— Rob Bennett @ 🏡 (@rob_bennett) May 31, 2020
Our country has a sickness
The incident has led to outrage and dissent on social media.
‘Our country has a sickness. We have to be out here,’ said Brianna Petrisko, according to one post. ‘This is the only way we’re going to be heard.’
Come Sunday, outspoken Democrat congressman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted over the incident, condemning the mayor for ‘making excuses for the NYPD running SUVs into crowds.’
Read an earlier tweet: ‘NO ONE gets to slam an SUV through a crowd of human beings. these officers need to be brought to justice, not dismissed w/“internal reviews.”
The large crowds involved, with many people not wearing masks or social distancing, raised concerns among health experts about the potential for helping spread the coronavirus pandemic at a time when overall deaths are on the decline nationwide and much of the country is in the process of reopening society and the economy.
The identity’s of the police drivers remained unclear as commentators on social media demand their arrest.