The New York City Police Department’s chief and three other officers were injured in a clash with protesters in New York City on Wednesday.
Local clergy members — with the support of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, an NYPD union — organized the “Stop the Violence” march, which was set to cross the Brooklyn Bridge and make its way to City Hall in Manhattan, WCBS-AM reported.
“We support the police and we need their help because this city is becoming a war zone,” pro-police demonstrator Tamara Lashchyk told WABC-TV.
But the situation devolved into chaos when pro-police protesters clashed with “Defund the Police” demonstrators.
The pro-police protesters reportedly came near where the anti-police activists were around 10 a.m.; at least 38 people were ultimately taken into police custody.
“They literally arrested about 20 of our folks, as this protest, stop, we’re going to arrest Black Lives Matter protesters and then allow this protest to peacefully come by,” Jonathan Lykes of Black Youth Project 100 told WABC-TV.
“They didn’t want a counter-protest, they didn’t want democracy, they didn’t want freedom in this moment.”
NYPD Chief of Department Terry Monahan, a sergeant and a lieutenant from his office — all of whom were marching with the pro-police group — were injured during the clash on the Brooklyn Bridge, the outlet reported.
Warning: The following video and the images linked to below contain violent and graphic content that may disturb some viewers.
Three officers violently attacked by protesters crossing the Brooklyn Bridge. The officers sustained serious injuries.
This is not peaceful protest, this will not be tolerated. pic.twitter.com/cYuDX8G7ku
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) July 15, 2020
Pictures posted on Twitter revealed the extent of some of the injuries.
Monahan was bloodied but not seriously hurt, while the sergeant and lieutenant sustained injuries and were taken to the hospital after being hit with canes, hats and debris.
The chief sustained “non-life-threatening injuries,” an NYPD spokesman told the New York Post, including a broken finger.
At least one other officer was also injured during Tuesday’s protests.
“We’re fighting for unity. It just seems that there’s so much violence,” NYPD Retired Sergeants Association member Bill Casey said.
“And the cops are being portrayed as villains instead of what they really are, which is heroes.”
The death of George Floyd on May 25 in Minneapolis after a police officer knelt on his neck for roughly nine minutes during an arrest sparked protests and calls for police reforms across the country.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was expected to sign a package of police reform bills later on Wednesday.
This package was passed by the New York City Council in June and includes a ban on chokeholds and greater transparency on NYPD surveillance, WABC-TV reported.
“It’s the right thing to do,” de Blasio said last month.
“We have to give people confidence that policing will be fair, and I’m convinced this legislation will do it, and I will be signing it.”
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