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Councilman Jumaane Williams Says He Was Detained By NYPD Because Of Race

Wants Policies Toward Blacks To Change; Commish Kelly Orders Probe
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Kirsten John Foy (L) and Jumaane Williams (credit: Stan Brooks/1010 WINS)

Kirsten John Foy (L) and Jumaane Williams (credit: Stan Brooks/1010 WINS)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)– A day after the confrontation with police at the West Indian Day Parade,  New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams held a news conference Tuesday demanding changes in the way the NYPD treats black people.

“This is not going to be an anti-police rally because that benefits no one,” Williams said. “We want policies and procedures to change.”

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports: Councilman Demands Changes To Police Procedure

Williams and Kirsten John Foy, Director of Community Affairs for Public Adovocate Bill de Blasio, were stopped by the police Monday as they attempted to leave the parade.

A spokesman said Williams and Foy were stopped by police while trying to enter a blocked-off street near the parade route. A crowd had formed in the area and someone apparently punched a police captain on the scene.

In a statement, the NYPD said Williams and Foy were handcuffed, brought across the street and held there until their identities were established. They were later released and no charges were filed.

However, Foy said the officer who manhandled him didn’t care about his ID. Foy said he displayed his city ID, but said an officer told him he had to get back.

“‘It’s over for you. You’re done’ — right before he throws me to the ground. He took me by the neck, put my face in the grass, and proceeded to cuff me,” Foy told CBS 2’s John Slattery.

Video of their detention shows police tumbling Foy to the ground.

“There was no reason for me to be arrested, no reason for him to be thrown to the ground,” Williams told Slattery.  “The only assault that happened was from the police to us.”

Williams, who was wearing his council lapel pin at the time of the confrontation, said he thinks it happened because he is a “35-year-old black man with dreadlocks.”

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb With The Councilman

The National Action Network condemned the “forceful arrests” and are urging strong disciplinary actions against the officers involved in the incident.

“I am very concerned that the officers escalated this situation needlessly, even as two public servants were trying to show identification,” said De Blasio in a statement. “I am calling for an investigation to get to the bottom of any police misconduct that occurred.”

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said there seems to have been some confusion, adding he met with Williams and Foy Monday night and has an ordered an investigation into the incident.

Councilman Williams praised the police commissioner and the Department, but said there are a few bad apples working under a policy that needs to change.

Do you agree? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

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