NYPD officers responding a report of shots fired in Manhattan early Sunday were met with a large crowd throwing bottles and debris, amid an increase in violence in the city, according to multiple reports.
The New York City Police Benevolent Association shared a video that showed the Harlem crowd shouting and throwing multiple glass bottles at a police cruiser. The incident occurred when officers attempted to disperse the group of nearly 500 people.
"This is what a 'light touch' looks like: Police officers responding to a shots fired job in Harlem last night were met with this," the city's largest police union tweeted.
Police had responded to the area of Harlem around 3:45 a.m. following a shot spotter activation, a department technology that detects the sound of gunfire, the New York Daily News reported. After recovering shell casings and fired bullets, the crowd reportedly descended upon the officers.
Amid the chaos, a police cruiser's windshield and passenger side window were reportedly damaged by some of the glass bottles thrown, according to NBC New York.
"This is the kind of lawlessness we're starting to see in New York City, and if it's not stopped and not stopped soon, it's only going to get exponentially worse," said Joseph Giacalone, professor of criminal justice at John Jay College. "Our elected leaders haven't been helping much including City Council and especially the mayor."
A separate video of the incident taken on Instagram shows a man dancing directly in front of a police vehicle as the crowd was heard cheering.
“People have been cooped up with COVID and everything else,” a neighbor told the paper. “Plus it was late, people were drinking. That’s when things like that start happening.”
The incident comes amid an increase in violence in New York City. From last Monday to midnight on Sunday, there were 63 shootings and 85 victims shot, the New York Post reported. Shootings have more than doubled compared to the same time last year.