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Dublin: 0°C Thursday 6 May 2021

Videos of NYPD officers' conduct during protests under investigation

In one video, an officer appears to draw his gun on a crowd of protesters.

Image: Seth Wenig/PA

A NUMBER OF videos of the actions of police officers in New York during protests over the weekend are now under investigation.

Yesterday New York Mayor Bill de Blasio described one of these videos, which showed two police cars driving into a crowd of protesters as “troubling”.

He said he had not expressed himself “as well as I should have” when he spoke about this incident on Sunday, describing the situation then as one that “was created by a group of protesters blocking and surrounding a police vehicle”.

In his latest press conference he said there is “no situation where a police vehicle should drive into a crowd of protesters or New Yorkers of any kind”.

It is dangerous, it is unacceptable.

He said the NYPD is investigating the incident internally and it is also being investigated as part of the independent review that he has set up.

“There are some who do not belong in this job and there are some who use violence when they shouldn’t, there are some who are disrespectful to the people they serve, there are some that harbour racism in their hearts.

“These people should not be in the police force and it’s our job to get them out.”

The mayor said he has spoken to the Police Commissioner about a number of incidents in recent days where “officers didn’t uphold the values of this city or the NYPD”.

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On Sunday he referenced a video in which a police officer appears to draw his weapon on a crowd. De Blasio said this officer “should have his gun and badge taken away from him today”.  An investigation into this incident is underway.

“It is not the place of an officer to pull a gun in the middle of a crowd knowing there are peaceful protesters in that crowd,” he said. “That is unacceptable, that is dangerous.”

New York State Attorney General Letitia James has promised a “swift investigation” of any complaints against police. She has appealed for members of the public to share information and visuals of incidents with her office.

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