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

Wants Policies Toward Blacks To Change; Commish Kelly Orders Probe

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.


    He was arrested because he disrespects the rule of law. When a police officer tells you to stop, what do you do? When your are an arrogant person and full of yourself, you flip the police off and get arrested. Oh, you’re an elected official? Sorry, you are definitely arrogant! Oh, you’re a black racist? You are under arrest! Case closed. Next!

  • Eric

    Not every black man & woman uses the race card irresponsibly like this…. He’s from the Rev. Al School of Make a Career out of Racism… A lot of us resent it and not afraid to speak up!!!! It’s 2011, enough already!!

    • Bill

      Maybe you should run for his seat!!!! You may win..

  • Glenn Erdmann

    You were detained because you were stupid, race had nothing to do with it.

  • BSmeter

    Count the Democrats.. all elbowing each other, to get BEFORE the CAMERAS…. then, try and count what they have ACCOMPLISHED IN YEARS of living on the Public Dole. In particular, the “Public Advocate” — an office that needs to be abolished, to save for Firehouses, Parks, Teachers — and a guy who advocates for nothing but himself, doesn’t it seem?

  • Truth

    As a councilman or a regular pedestrian, he shouldn’t have gone through an area that is closed off. It was closed off for a reason. Just because he is a councilman, he shouldn’t just be walking wherever he wants. I believe the NYPD did the right thing. To play race card is a disgrace. I believe the NYPD would have reacted the same no matter what the race was. It’s a shame that these councilman think they are above the law. I hope no one votes for him when it’s re-election time. Actually everyone in government needs to go!

    • Party 24/7

      I guess you don’t know the whole story. The guy in the white shirt told him he could walk there. Th police were over agressive and knocked his aide to the ground after doing an MMA leg sweep. The Police should be arrested and fired for what they did to these innocents.We don’t even need the police in our city, they are an occupying force who enslave us. We should get rid of the police and the racist FDNY and use the money for parties and guns so we can drink it up and shoot it up. After all it’s our culture that makes us act as we do!!

  • dave

    the police should have thrown them both in jail.

    • Steve

      Dave – the Jersey Shore reruns haven’t hit primetime just yet (so go back to sleep).

  • Stop the Slaughter!!

    Lets face it, he is being truthful. He was stopped because of his race. A Race full of garbage who think they can do what they want, when they want and that the rules of society don’t pertain to them. He is granndstandint to take attention away from the murders and other gunplay that take place every year at the West Indian Day Parade and Slaughter. The pandering press, enoch kelly and gay mayor are giving this attention as if it really matters. I doesn’t.

  • l

    And remind me HOW he got elected…..DUH!…another ahole thinking he is better than others…perhaps he should get elected to finish elementary school …

  • Wes

    Shame on you for being so arrogant and a liar. He should go testify under oath and hopefully someone could provide some recorded evidence to prove him wrong. He was asked so many times nicely not to enter the frozen area and to leave and……. he repeatedly said “NO, I WANT TO GO THERE!!!!!” Like a little 5 year old kid….. He did not have any ID visible and did not ID himself at the scene. So whatever he says are total lies.
    Cops actually tolerate a lot of BS during that parade so it doesn’t escalate the situation. But in this case he asked for it and still got away with it after they ID him shortly later and politics got involved. Maybe he should get drug tested if it was sooooooo hard for him to understand he can’t get in???

  • BigD

    Stay out of restricted areas stupid. Here we go again. “Because I’m Black they detained me”. They should have put you in jail with A-hole Al. Goes to show you need not be smart to be a councilman. Obey the rules yoyo and the police will leave you alone.

  • Cecelia

    As a Black Lady told me once “GET OVER IT”, I am white and I was beaten by 3 black girls when I was 17. Get It. I had no Al Sharpton.

    • Meme Meyagi

      maybe you can turn into a white version of al sharpton, it is badly needed

    • Omar

      Sure you were. My little violin plays it’s heart out for you

  • M.M.O'Reilly Jr.

    Race happens.Racial profiling happens, what ever color we are this
    will always be until there is no pure race left.
    ,In about 300 years we will
    have inter-racially married where everyone will be of mixed race the world
    over.Then we might have peace and understanding and no White .Black
    Asian we will all be a mixture,I know this is true I heard it on a PBS show.
    Look around you and see the interacial copules and their babies, cool!

  • Bullett

    Councilman Williams needs to return to school and take a course in public speaking. His pronuciation of words is deplorable.

  • The Facts

    More politicians who think they are above the laws everyone else has to follow. Then they try to play the race card.

  • Black Man

    All these racist comments on here as expected. Sometimes I really don’t understand it as this country would be nowhere without Us. We have contributed a great deal to this country and get treated like this? Only in America as the great Don King has quoted.

  • steffi

    Its the same old excuse, “because I’m black: Get over yourselves. Stop blaming everyone else for you actions. Get a life

  • MSavage

    Definitely genetic.

  • Simple Solution

    It’s simple. Next year keep the whole area police free and just put a barrier around the whole area. The police cannot enter until everything is done for the day and then enter with the EMTs and coroner to pick up the bodies.and those who were injured. That way nobody’s feelings get hurt because the police presence is ruining their fun.

  • Sharon Marshall-Taylor

    Can we all just wait for an investigation? People are making some big stretches as far as what actually took place. Some of the comments posted represent a deterioration of civility in thought, speech and action in America.

  • KeepinItReal

    No wonder the community is such a mess….

  • Bridget

    This idiot got arrested because he could not follow the cops instructions not to go into a certain area, then hit a cop. Its amazing that people are involved in politics would act so dumb.

    • Johnny Handsome

      Actually its amazing that someone with no idea of what happened just makes stuff up. He was told at at least 2 different check points that he could enter that area. There was some mix up at the KKK/Spic check point. Not sure what video you watched, but I didn’t anyone hit a cop.

  • The cop that locked him up

    I hope he keeps making press statements on t.v. Councilmen Williams looks and sounds like an idiot. He is known in the real world as a man with a room temperature I.Q. Keep talking Councilmen Williams keep talking you will just destroy yourself.

    • yknip

      For sure!

  • yknip

    Why don’t you get your haircut like a normal person then you could probably go on any sidewalk you’d like.

  • 221309

    When the NYPD Brass got punched it was all over! Plain and simple.

    • Johnny Handsome

      No NYPD brass got hit. That was to cover themselves.

  • christine

    you act like an animal, you get locked up and treated like an animal..ur not special, they warned him not to go but he thinks hes better than everyone…he got what he deserved!!!!

  • Union Sq.

    They should put DeBlsio in cuffs for hiring a clown to work on his behalf.

  • Ty Johnson

    I saw the whole thing. I was takin my family on a walk to the park after I left that parade (which felt like a war zone). All I wanted was to show my family my roots and all I got was my daughter seeing a man slashed in the face by some punk. We not bad people, but bad apples ruin it for the rest ofus. Back to what I witnessed. To be honest I would have never guessed these guys were council men. They acted a fool when police said they couldn’t walk down the side walk so they moved the metal gates to go through anyway laughin at the cops. Police said they be trespassing but they kept walking. A big argument happen and all of a sudden a cop in a white nypd shirt got snuffed in the face. That’s when I seen the man in the picture and another guy in a light blue miami vice shirt get arrested. Never thought I’d be seeing this on the internet. I thought these were just punks like the ones that did the slashing. Trust me I am not pro nypd or nothin, I’m just sayin, if these guys supposed to be representin Brooklyn politics, I think I be packin my family soon and movin to queens. Embarressing how these men acted and disrespected any grown man the way they did cop or not. If they did this on the Islands let me tell ya, the police ova there would be throwin them boys in a grungy basement for a long time

    • KPMc

      Don’t know if you and your story are legitimate but if so you should tell it to the investigators. It would be nice to hear about someone doing the right thing for once instead of siding by color regardless of the facts.

      Until we can ALL do that nothing will ever change.

  • jimmy

    Investigate all the shootings around the parade instead. That is more important.

  • KPMc

    “Williams released a statement the whole thing was “an easily avoidable incident.””

    Yes… by not using your elevated status to get to a place you weren’t allowed might have helped. Even so, listening to and cooperating with the police instead of claiming some imagined discrimination would probably have alleviated the situation too.

    • Tommy

      He thinks the law does not apply to him because he is a city councilman.

      • Getreal

        Well, he is a “dignatory”

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