NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A growing number of elected officials say an NYPD officer should face charges over a shoving incident that was caught on video.
It happened Friday night during George Floyd protests in Brooklyn near the Barclays Center.
The video shows the officer knocking the woman to the ground, though what led up to the incident is unclear.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said the incident was “absolutely unacceptable” and “there needs to be consequences.”
De Blasio said such an incident “corrodes trust” between police and community, adding there was no reason for it.
“We all saw the video last night,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “I’m asking Attorney General James to review the actions and the procedures that were used last night. Because the public deserves answers, and they deserve accountability.”
The mayor said he understands the enormous complexity officers face during the protest, but the incident shouldn’t have happened.
“We have to do better than that,” the mayor said.
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and State Senator Jessica Ramos are among those who say the officer should be charged with assault.
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams held a news conference and suggested the way the NYPD was arrayed ahead of Friday’s protests helped contribute to escalating tensions.
“We can not have the heavy police presence that I saw at the outset, before anyone was outside. There was a wall of police that was here, here and here. It is an imposing position to be in. We are dealing with people who are grieving and who are angry. The response to that can not be a show of force. That will not help us get through this situation. We have to ask our police force to fall back,” Williams said. “Do not show that oppressive force right where you know people are coming to express their anger and express their pain. It is not helpful.”
Williams said when enforcement is needed, “this does not give you permission to overreact, and there still needs to be accountability for officers’ actions.
“We saw an officer throw and shove someone to the ground. She hit her head. That was unnecessary. There have to be answers for that. And the word is that officer has had issues like this before in Brownsville. I saw white shirts around that did nothing to approach the officer to talk to him, approach the person on the ground, or do anything. I saw officers open their doors to hit protesters. The answer to that can not be spraying indiscriminately pepper spray on anybody who may be there. That is not the response that we need,” he added.