NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said he gets “beyond concerned” when he hears calls to defund the police. He spoke with NBC New York’s Melissa Russo about what that could mean.
Over 400 current and former employees in the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio have signed an open letter denouncing the mayor’s treatment of peaceful protesters and his refusal to reign in the NYPD.
The letter includes a scathing evaluation of de Blasio’s performance on criminal justice reform, despite it being one of the main commitments that drew many of these staffers to work for the administration, particularly after he made ending the misuse of stop and frisk a central theme in his 2013 mayoral campaign.
The officer involved in the incident has been identified by elected officials as Vincent D’Andraia of the 73rd Precinct in Brooklyn.
Video of the encounter captured by Jason Lemon, a Newsweek reporter who tweeted the recording, quickly spread across social media. It had been viewed more than 14.1 million times by Friday evening.
The maneuver was a law enforcement tactic called kettling. The police encircle protesters so that they have no way to exit from a park, city block or other public space, and then charge in and make arrests.
For the next 20 minutes in Downtown Brooklyn, officers swinging batons turned a demonstration that had been largely peaceful into a scene of chaos.
The kettling operations carried out by the police department after curfew have become among the most unsettling symbols of its use of force against peaceful protests, and have touched off a fierce backlash against Mayor Bill de Blasio and the police commissioner, Dermot F. Shea.
The NYPD is under fire for a series of actions unfolding each day as protesters continue to defy the nightly curfew.