NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday categorically denied reports that City Hall ordered the NYPD to back off of policing some trouble spots in the Bronx and Brooklyn over the Labor Day weekend.
The New York Post reported Monday that cops in the 63rd and 69th precincts were ordered to ignore illegal liquor sales inside three Brooklyn junkyards where open-air parties were being thrown.
Citing law enforcement sources, the tabloid reported that the directive is believed to have originated within City Hall at the request of local politicians.
On Tuesday, the Post reported that police were ordered to back off policing a section of Washington Heights where residents attacked cops with bottles Saturday night. Five officers were injured, the paper reported.
One man told 1010 WINS’ Derricke Dennis police harassed residents during an annual Labor Day block party on West 164th Street between Amsterdam and Edgecombe avenues.
“They had guns drawn and all that,” the man said. “Seen an officer throw a closed-fist punch to restrain somebody. What’s all that for? It’s not a UFC fight.”
He said it got so bad that he and others started chanting “hands up, don’t shoot,” a reference to the police-involved shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
Residents told the Post no police were seen all day Monday on the block where the violence erupted.
Speaking to reporters, including WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb, on Tuesday in the Bronx, de Blasio called the reports inaccurate.
“No, it’s not true,” the mayor said. “No one would ever tell NYPD to back off.
“We have a job to do. We all have to enforce the law. We all have to enforce public safety.”
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