BREAKING: Mayor Admits He Failed to Properly Express Outrage to Cops Using Squad Cars as Battering Rams
It took more than a day and a half, but Mayor de Blasio finally and clearly condemned the actions of several police officers who drove their squad cars into crowds of protesters, saying “there is no situation” when that kind of action should occur.
But at his daily press conference this morning, the mayor did cling to the notion that there may have been “extenuating circumstances” that provided a context for what appeared so horrifically violent on multiple videos.
The mayor opened with comments about the videos, and referred to his prior comments that suggested the officers might have had a reason for their violent actions:
I tried to express that reality while also saying it is never acceptable for a police car to move through a crowd. But I don’t think I expressed it as well as I should have, so I want to try again to help the people of this city understand: There is no situation where a police vehicle should drive into a crowd of protesters or New Yorkers of any kind. It is dangerous. It is unacceptable. This was an extremely aberrant situation. There were extenuating circumstances because of incidents that happened earlier. … But it is still not acceptable for officers to ever drive into a crowd. This incident is under investigation as we speak, both within the NYPD and by the independent review that I have set up.
That said, it is unclear if the use of squad cars is such an isolated incident. Beyond the police violence on Saturday in Brooklyn, there have been isolated reports and videos of other NYPD officers using their cars as weapons.
“On Sunday night at around 1 am on Broadway and 12th Street, I witnessed police erratically drive an SUV onto the sidewalk in an attempt to hit a protestor,” a witness told Streetsblog this morning. “Earlier, I witnessed another white sedan ride dangerously … through a crowd on a Soho street, dispersing them. We already saw police use vehicles as weapons during the daytime; the media should keep a close eye on this in the hours after midnight.”
The mayor also comment on a video posted by Gothamist’s Jake Offenhartz from Sunday night featuring an officer pulling his gun on a crowd of protesters.
“That officer should have his gun and badge taken away today,” the mayor said.
A source shared this video, which he says he took at around 10 pm near near 12th and Broadway. It appears to show an NYPD officer pointing a gun at protesters outside the Strand pic.twitter.com/pCTNIYL7op
— Jake Offenhartz (@jangelooff) June 1, 2020