Raging George Floyd protesters with “an agenda of violence” targeted New York’s Finest overnight in Brooklyn with Molotov cocktails, bricks and brass knuckles, according to NYPD Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, who said Saturday that “countless” cops were injured when the demonstrations devolved into chaos.
At least one person was arrested for attempted murder of four cops after throwing a Molotov cocktail into a marked police van, Shea said.
A sergeant was punched in the head with brass knuckles.
And another cop got his teeth knocked out, a still shaken Shea said at a joint press conference with Mayor de Blasio in City Hall.
“It is by the grace of God that we don’t have dead officers today,” according to Shea, who said all officers were targeted, regardless of race or gender.
The mayor, meanwhile, blamed the violence on “a very small number” of people who “literally and specifically meant to insight violence,” and announced the launching of an independent probe to review actions by protesters — and cops.
“I’ve seen some videos that don’t reflect the values of the NYPD,” de Blasio said. “There needs to be accountability.”
Attacks on cops “poisoned the whole atmosphere,” he continued. “That does not for a moment take away from the fact that the NYPD has to do better.
One troubling video posted to Twitter shows an officer shoving a woman to the ground near the Barclays Center.
“We are going to have an individual review to look at each and every incident like that,” the mayor said.
“We can not see a video like that … there will be accountability,” he added. “There will be accountability also on the side of the protesters, I assure you, but we have to keep people’s faith the NYPD is here to protect them. Period.”
Shea conceded that there is no excuse to throw “a peaceful protester to the ground.”
But, he continued, “it is very difficult to practice de-escalation when you’re having a brick thrown at your head.”
At least 200 people were arrested, the commissioner said. An exact tally was not immediately available.
More demonstrations are planned Saturday throughout the city.
“This is a dangerous situation, and any and all violence will be denounced,” Shea said. “We remain fully committed to supporting the right to publicly assemble. Protest and free speech is at the heart of everything we believe in.”
He continued: “At the same time, we will have zero tolerance for looking to cause harm to anyone.”
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