NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There’s new outrage after videos surfaced showing people taking cheap shots at NYPD officers.
Water and even buckets were thrown at the cops during the recent heat wave. On Tuesday, the actions of the officers were questioned by the department, and that angered union leaders, CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reported.
Cellphone video shows two officers trying to arrest a man in Harlem, as a group of men dumps water and even throws a bucket at them.
Was it proper restraint an de-escalation in a volatile situation? Or was it the wrong thing to do?
The officers stayed calm, but one cop said they should have been tougher.
“Any cop who thinks that is alright, that they can walk away from something like that, maybe should reconsider whether or not this is a profession for them,” NYPD Chief of Detective Terence Monahan said.
In a similar incident in East New York, Brooklyn on Saturday, an NYPD officer gets soaked while responding to a disturbance call and then walks away.
“No, no, no, they should make either arrest or something,” one person told Duddridge after being shown the video.
“When I saw that I thought that in this situation they were told to stand down, maybe that they shouldn’t do anything,” lower Manhattan resident Martin Friedman said.
NYPD police officers courageously face unknown & sometimes hostile circumstances each time they answer a call. Still, professional & composed, they carry out their vital work. As a city & a PD, we’ll never accept such disrespect. https://t.co/HBBwajRmTJ
— Commissioner O'Neill (@NYPDONeill) July 23, 2019
The videos struck a cord with many New Yorkers, including former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who was known for his zero tolerance style of policing. He appeared on Fox News and called out Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“That would never happen in a million years when I was mayor of New York City,” Giuliani said. “Actually, it wouldn’t happen if we didn’t have a progressive, retrogressive, completely lazy mayor in New York City who is absolutely destroying the quality of life in this city.”
De Blasio responded on Twitter, saying in part, “The truth is crime has never been lower in New York City and that’s because were bridging the divide between police and communities, a divide Rudy Giuliani helped create.”
When you disrespect our NYPD officers, you disrespect ALL New Yorkers. We don't tolerate that in our city.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) July 23, 2019
City district attorneys are no longer prosecuting low-level crimes. Soon, in situations like these, officers will only be able to issue tickets, which many claim will only embolden criminals.
“We are calling on City Hall and Albany to roll back the existing policies that have emboldened criminals, and to create meaningful penalties for anyone who harasses or interferes with a police officer in the course of his or her official duties,” PBA President Patrick Lynch said. “At a minimum, there should be a felony charge for assaulting a police officer by throwing or spraying water or any other substance, and a misdemeanor charge for the attempt to do so. It’s time for lawmakers to take a stand against disorder, on behalf of their constituents and the cops who protect them.”
NYPD leadership is standing by Monahan’s comments, and out out a memo to officers saying the suspects should have been identified and arrested in both incidents, and at a minimum a supervisor should have been called in.
So far, no arrests have been made in either incident. One male individual was arrested for disorderly conduct in Harlem on the day of the incident, but that individual did not throw water on police.
The NYPD released photos Tuesday evening of three individuals wanted for questioning in connection for throwing water on the officers in Harlem.
Anyone who recognizes the individuals or has information regarding these incidents is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-8477 or for Spanish, 1-888-577-4782. Tips can also be sent to the NYPDTips Twitter account or submitted online at NYPDCrimeStoppers.com.