A police officer that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio wants stripped of his badge after being seen on video pointing a gun at a crowd had actually drawn his weapon after his supervisor was “nearly killed” by a brick, a union says.
The Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York has posted a longer version of a video clip that has gone viral on social media depicting scenes that unfolded over the weekend in Manhattan around the time of George Floyd demonstrations.
“Now we have the full story: this police officer unholstered his weapon only after his supervisor was nearly killed with a brick. #FactsMatter,” the union – which represents 50,000 active and retired NYPD officers, wrote in a tweet.
The expanded footage shows an unidentified individual approaching an officer from his rear and then throwing an object at him. The targeted officer then flees the intersection before the cop that drew De Blasio’s scorn enters the same area and starts waving his gun around at demonstrators, who run away in response.
An initial video of the incident – which has 2.5 million views – began with the cop drawing his firearm and did not show the moments beforehand in which the other officer was targeted by the mystery individual.
Yet, hours before the expanded footage was posted online, De Blasio, during his daily press conference Monday, called for the cop to be fired.
“That to me, seeing that video was absolutely unacceptable,” the mayor said. “Now, I don't know all the circumstances and we must know all the facts. There will be an immediate full investigation of that incident.”
“We have to always know it is not the place of an officer to pull a gun in the middle of a crowd. Knowing that there are peaceful protesters in that crowd, that is unacceptable,” he continued. “That is dangerous. I want you to note on that video how a superior officer immediately came over and moved that officer away from that crowd.
“That officer should have his gun and badge taken away today,” de Blasio concluded.
It’s not clear if de Blasio was aware of the situation that unfolded before the officer drew his gun. It’s also not clear if the crowds at that scene were peacefully protesting the police-involved death of George Floyd, or if it was looters who have seemingly hijacked the protests to run riot over U.S. cities, including Manhattan, in recent days.
But regardless, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea – in response to the police union’s clip of the alleged brick attack – called it “senseless.”
“Horrible and unfortunately not uncommon. We MUST stop the anti-police rhetoric that is fueling these senseless attacks,” the commissioner tweeted late Monday. “We MUST also come together and hear each other, work together and move forward ....TOGETHER. #onenewyork”