Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered Attorney General Letitia James to investigate the violent protests in Brooklyn on Friday where over 200 people were arrested, including one woman who has been charged with attempted murder.
The protest, one of many around the country over the killing of George Floyd, started peacefully yesterday afternoon before descending into chaos after several thousand people faced off with officers on the streets outside of Barclays Center.
Multiple people, including police officers, were injured as protesters set fire to vehicles and violence broke out between cops and demonstrators.
Governor Cuomo on Saturday said he and Mayor Bill de Blasio had agreed to conduct independent reviews into last night’s events.
Peaceful protests turned violent in Brooklyn on Friday after thousands faced off with police officers
Two sisters from upstate New York who allegedly threw a Molotov cocktail at an occupied police cruiser during protests in Brooklyn on Friday night are expected to face attempted murder charges. The cocktail did not explode. A separate NYPD vehicle (pictured) was set on fire by demonstrators
Governor Cuomo on Saturday ordered Attorney General Letitia James (right) to ‘review all the facts, police procedures and the crowd’s actions’
He said Attorney General James will review the NYPD’s response and the actions from the crowds within 30 days and see ‘what we can learn.’
‘Last night we saw disturbing violent clashes amidst protests right here in New York City, and I’m asking Attorney General James to review the actions and the procedures that were used last night because the public deserves answers and they deserve accountability,’ Governor Cuomo said.
In a separate press conference on Saturday, Mayor de Blasio said he was upset by videos of confrontations ‘where protesters were handled very violently’ by cops and by reports that at least two elected officials were among the people sprayed with irritating chemicals by officers at the scene.
In a video that has been widely circulated on social media, one NYPD officer was seen aggressively shoving a 20-year-old female protester to the ground.
‘Anytime you see a protester just arbitrarily thrown to the ground by a police officer, that does not reflect our values, that’s unacceptable and there need to consequences,’ he said.
‘We cannot see a video like that. There’s no reason for a video like that and it corrodes trust. So, we’re going to have an independent review to look at each and every instance like that.’
More than 200 protesters were arrested during Friday night’s demonstrations
Demonstrators and police officers are pictured at Friday’s protest outside the Barclays center
Protesters gathered in the early evening outside the Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn. The 3,000 strong continued their demonstrations into the night
Mayor Bill de Blasio accused President Trump of ‘helping to create this atmosphere’
De Blasio also weighed in on the White House’s response to the nationwide riots over Floyd’s death, accusing Trump of ‘poisoning the atmosphere.’
‘The President of United States helped to create this atmosphere, and that’s the tragedy here,’ he said.
‘It doesn’t matter what you think of President Trump, there’s been an uptick in tension and hatred and division since he came along.
‘And it’s not the reason for any specific act, but it has helped to poison the atmosphere.
‘We always talk about respect for peaceful protest, respect for communities, respect for different points of view, and obviously that’s not been the tone set from the top in Washington, and that’s one of the reasons we’re in this mess we’re in.’
The NYPD officer who was filmed violently shoving a female protester to the ground in Brooklyn on Friday is under investigation. He has not been identified
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said more than 200 arrests were carried out last night and that ‘it is by the grace of God that we don’t have dead officers today.’
One demonstrator was charged with attempted murder for allegedly tossing a homemade firebomb at a vehicle occupied by several officers, who escaped without harm.
Many people in the crowd threw bottles at police. A group set fire to a police van and battered several other police cruisers with clubs.
Samantha Shader, 27, is accused of throwing the cocktail at the NYPD vehicle, which had four officers inside, shortly after 10.30pm as it was stationed near the Brooklyn Museum.
The lit bottle did not explode, and no officers were injured.
According to a statement provided to DailyMail.com, the NYPD officers subsequently exited the cruiser and attempted to arrest Shader, who allegedly bit one of them on the leg.
‘Coming to an assembly, pre-meditated, with loaded firearms, with bricks, with Molotov cocktails is the furthest thing from civil obedience,’ Commisioner Shea stated.
Shea revealed ‘countless’ officers were injured as protest spiraled out of control. Some are still in hospital. One officer had their teeth knocked out.
‘There was no discrimination as to whether it was a white officer, black officer, male officer or female officer. [They targeted] anyone in a uniform’.
Meanwhile, a 20-year-old protester allegedly suffered a seizure and was rushed to hospital in Brooklyn after being shoved forcefully to the ground by an NYPD officer.
The cop, who has not been identified, was seen shoving Dounya Zayer, 20, and sending her flying onto the pavement in a video that has been widely shared on social media.
Zayer later shared videos of herself from the hospital claiming she suffered a seizure from the attack and said she was ‘in no way aggressive’ towards the officer.
An NYPD spokesperson confirmed on Saturday that they are aware of the video circulating on social media and that it is ‘under internal review.’