A standoff between police and a suspect who reportedly assaulted an officer ended with officers retreating when protesters overwhelmed them in New York City on Friday.
The New York Post reported the NYPD was involved in a standoff with an anti-police activist accused of assault after he allegedly screamed into the ear of a female officer using a bullhorn, causing her hearing damage.
Police gathered outside of an apartment looking for the suspect, a man named Derrick Ingram, on Friday afternoon in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood.
After spending hours waiting for Ingram to come out, officers were inundated by nearly 100 anti-police protesters and ordered to stand down.
The protesters slowly congregated over a six-hour period, chanting anti-NYPD slogans.
Dozens of police officers in tactical gear had waited in vain, while Ingram organized protesters online from inside.
The officers, with no recourse because they did not have a warrant to enter the property, left the scene without Ingram, the Post reported.
The order to stand down came directly from the top, from NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea.
Shea’s order angered officers and others who spoke to the newspaper.
One person the Post referred to as a police insider said that the order to leave without the suspect is “another example of mob rules.”
“Today’s action encourages resisting arrest,” another person said. “That is not good for anyone: Cops, civilians and the people being arrested.”
Worse for the officers, the suspect reportedly had agreed to turn himself in later, but did not honor that agreement, per information the Post had been given by the NYPD.
“The NYPD was attempting to make an apprehension for assault on a police officer,” an NYPD spokeswoman said. “At this time, the investigation is active and ongoing.”
A state lawmaker spoke of the order for officers to stand down and supported the decision.
New York state Sen. Brad Hoylman, a Democrat who represents the neighborhood in the capital of Albany, criticized police in a statement to the Post.
“The police should be aware by now of the need to de-escalate situations like this rather than show up to try to arrest a single individual using dozens of officers and not even have a warrant in hand,” Hoylman said.
“It’s a misapplication of resources,” he added.
Friday’s stand-down order is the latest perceived attack on the integrity of the country’s largest police department amid months of anti-police rhetoric.
In June, Mayor Bill de Blasio disbanded the department’s non-uniformed Anti-Crime Unit.
The mayor also joined city leaders in announcing the partial defunding of the NYPD.
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