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NYC mayor defends police response after videos show officers punching pro-Palestinian protesters

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NYC mayor defends police response after videos show officers punching pro-Palestinian protesters
News

News

NYC mayor defends police response after videos show officers punching pro-Palestinian protesters

2024-05-21 03:09 Last Updated At:03:11

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City Mayor Eric Adams defended the police department's response to a pro-Palestinian street demonstration in Brooklyn over the weekend, calling video of officers repeatedly punching men lying prone on the ground an “isolated incident.”

“Look at that entire incident,” Adams said on the “Mornings on 1” program on the local cable news channel NY1. He complained that protesters who marched through Brooklyn's Bay Ridge section on Saturday had blocked traffic, spit at officers and, in once instance, climbed on top of a moving city bus. “I take my hat off to the Police Department, how they handled an unruly group of people.”

“People want to take that one isolated incident that we’re investigating. They need to look at the totality of what happened in that bedroom community,” Adams added.

Footage shot by bystanders and independent journalists shows police officers intercepting a march in the street, shoving participants toward the sidewalk, and then grabbing some people in the crowd and dragging them down to the asphalt. Officers can be seen repeatedly punching at least three protesters, in separate incidents, as they lay pinned on the ground.

A video shot by videographer Peter Hambrecht and posted on X shows an officer in a white shirt punching a protester while holding his throat. Hambrecht said the arrests took place after police told the crowd to disperse.

“They were aware they might get arrested, but many times people use that to justify the beating which is obviously ridiculous,” Hambrecht told The Associated Press in a text message.

Independent journalist Katie Smith separately recorded video of an officer unleashing a volley of punches on a man pinned to the ground, hitting him at least five times with a closed fist.

At least 41 people were arrested, police said.

The NYPD later released its own video showing misbehavior by protesters, including people throwing empty water bottles at officers, splashing them with liquids and lighting flares and smoke bombs. It also showed one protester sitting on the roof of a moving transit bus waving a Palestinian flag.

“We will not accept the narrative that persons arrested were victims, nor are we going to allow illegal behavior,” NYPD Deputy Commissioner Kaz Daughtry said in a statement on X.

The NYPD agreed to change the way it handles public protests last summer after it had to pay out at least $35 million to settle claims of police misconduct during the large protests against racial injustice after the 2020 murder of George Floyd.

The legal settlement required the department to reduce the number of officers it sent to most protests. It also required police to allow most demonstrations to take place on public streets, even if they temporarily block traffic, as long as they are nonviolent and don't involve a threat of major property damage. Police can still step in under the settlement to redirect protest marches to prevent them from blocking access to bridges and tunnels, or places like hospitals and police precincts. But the written agreement says “the fact that some individuals in a crowd have engaged in unlawful conduct does not by itself provide grounds” to end demonstrations and order a crowd to disperse.

The City Council member who represents Bay Ridge, Justin Brannan, said the demonstration broken up by police was one held annually in the neighborhood to protest the displacement of Palestinian people following the establishment of Israel in 1948.

“Bay Ridge is home to the largest Palestinian community in NYC,” Brannan wrote on X. “There has been a Nakba Day demonstration here every year for the past decade without incident. I saw no evidence of actions by protestors today that warranted such an aggressive response from NYPD.”

New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna Lieberman criticized the arrests and called them an escalation of police tactics against demonstrators.

“The aggressive escalation by the NYPD’s Strategic Response Group yesterday in Bay Ridge was a violation of New Yorkers’ right to speak out and risks chilling political expression," Lieberman said, naming the NYPD unit that is often called to protests.

FILE - New York City Mayor Eric Adams gestures as he attends a news conference at City Hall in New York, March 19, 2024. Adams defended the police department’s response Monday, May 20, 2024, to a pro-Palestinian street demonstration in Brooklyn over the weekend, calling video of officers repeatedly punching men lying prone on the ground an “isolated incident.” (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez, File)

FILE - New York City Mayor Eric Adams gestures as he attends a news conference at City Hall in New York, March 19, 2024. Adams defended the police department’s response Monday, May 20, 2024, to a pro-Palestinian street demonstration in Brooklyn over the weekend, calling video of officers repeatedly punching men lying prone on the ground an “isolated incident.” (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez, File)

Next Article

Witt’s homer and Wacha’s seven scoreless innings lead Royals over White Sox, 7-1

2024-07-20 10:46 Last Updated At:10:51

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Michael Wacha pitched seven scoreless innings, Bobby Witt Jr. homered and drove in two runs and the Kansas City Royals beat the Chicago White Sox 7-1 on Friday night.

Witt drove Chris Flexen’s inside fastball above the left field bullpen for his 17th homer in the first inning. Witt added an RBI in the third on the second of his three hits for a 2-0 lead.

Since June 24, Witt has hit safely in 17 of 19 games, batting .403 with 12 extra-base hits.

Wacha (7-6) allowed four hits and a walk, striking out seven. He is 6-2 in his last 10 starts, surrendering no more than three earned runs in each.

Michael Massey’s two-out, two-run single highlighted the Royals’ five-run fifth. Kansas City has won five of its last seven.

Flexen (2-9) threw 4 2/3 innings, allowing seven runs on four hits and five walks. In 13 starts since his last win on May 8, he is 0-6.

Chicago's Korey Lee hit his ninth homer in the eighth inning.

Brooks Baldwin singled in his first at-bat in his major league debut, as the White Sox lost their fifth straight.

TRAINER’S ROOM

White Sox: Placed RHP Michael Soroka on the 15-day Injured List (retroactive to July 16) with a right shoulder strain.

Royals: Placed OF MJ Melendez on the 10-day Injured List (retroactive to July 15) with a left ankle sprain.

TRANSACTIONS

White Sox: signed free agent IF Nick Senzel, selected the contract of IF Brooks Baldwin, and recalled C Chuckie Robinson and RHP Steven Wilson, from Triple-A Charlotte, optioned IF Lenyn Sosa to Charlotte, and designated C Martin Maldonado and IF Danny Mendick for assignment, outrighting Mendick to Charlotte.

Royals: Recalled OF Drew Waters from Triple-A Omaha and designated RHP Nick Anderson for assignment.

UP NEXT

White Sox right-hander Jonathan Cannon (1-3, 4.41 ERA) opposes Royals right-hander Brady Singer (5-6, 3.20).

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

Chicago White Sox center fielder Luis Robert Jr. catches a fly ball for the out on Kansas City Royals' Salvador Perez during the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, July 19, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Chicago White Sox center fielder Luis Robert Jr. catches a fly ball for the out on Kansas City Royals' Salvador Perez during the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, July 19, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Chicago White Sox catcher Korey Lee talks to starting pitcher Chris Flexen, right, during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Friday, July 19, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Chicago White Sox catcher Korey Lee talks to starting pitcher Chris Flexen, right, during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Friday, July 19, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Kansas City Royals' Salvador Perez beats the tag by Chicago White Sox catcher Korey Lee to score on a two-run single by Michael Massey during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, July 19, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Kansas City Royals' Salvador Perez beats the tag by Chicago White Sox catcher Korey Lee to score on a two-run single by Michael Massey during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, July 19, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Kansas City Royals' Michael Massey watches hit two-run single during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Friday, July 19, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Kansas City Royals' Michael Massey watches hit two-run single during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Friday, July 19, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Kansas City Royals' Hunter Renfroe is hit by a pitch thrown by Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Chris Flexen during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, July 19, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Kansas City Royals' Hunter Renfroe is hit by a pitch thrown by Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Chris Flexen during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, July 19, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Kansas City Royals' Maikel Garcia celebrates in the dugout after scoring on a sacrifice bunt hit by Adam Frazier during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Friday, July 19, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Kansas City Royals' Maikel Garcia celebrates in the dugout after scoring on a sacrifice bunt hit by Adam Frazier during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Friday, July 19, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Kansas City Royals' Bobby Witt Jr. watches his solo home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Friday, July 19, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Kansas City Royals' Bobby Witt Jr. watches his solo home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Friday, July 19, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Michael Wacha throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Friday, July 19, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Michael Wacha throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Friday, July 19, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Michael Wacha throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Friday, July 19, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Michael Wacha throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Friday, July 19, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

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