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NYPD Response to George Floyd Protests Inflamed Tensions with Public: Report

BLM/George Floyd Rally on Queens Boulevard in June 2020 (Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

Dec. 18, 2020 By Allie Griffin

The NYPD used excessive force in responding to the George Floyd protests over the summer and further inflamed tensions with the public, according to a scathing new report.

The NYC Department of Investigation (DOI) released a report Friday detailing the NYPD’s response to the protests that were triggered by the brutal death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man killed by members of the Minneapolis Police Dept.

The report said that police officers failed to de-escalate tensions with protesters and suppressed New Yorkers’ First Amendment rights.

“[The] NYPD’s use of force on protesters — encirclement (commonly called “kettling”), mass arrests, baton and pepper spray use, and other tactics — reflected a failure to calibrate an appropriate balance between valid public safety or officer safety interests and the rights of protesters to assemble and express their views,” the 115-page report states.

DOI also said officers often failed to determine who were “lawful, peaceful protesters and unlawful actors” when using force or making arrests.

The report further states the the NYPD deployed officers who lacked sufficient training on how to police protests and that training established after the protests focused on the same “disorder control methods” without a de-escalation component.

Furthermore, the NYPD failed to utilize its community affairs officers to better connect to protestors and ease tensions. DOI said current protest response training still lacks a community affairs aspect.

The report earned the praise of Queens Borough President Donovan Richards.

“I’m pleased the report confirms that the NYPD’s tactics were unnecessarily aggressive and I agree with its conclusion that the Department needs major structural change in the way it deals with protests,” Richards said.

“The ability to speak out against injustice is a fundamental right protected by the First Amendment, and the NYPD has a duty to safeguard that right,” Richards added.

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Sara Ross

Why haven’t there been thousands of people protesting (or looting under the guise of protesting) all of the senseless killings, rapes, murders and muggings in the city against innocent people? Oh that’s right – only cops are to be punished. Floyd did NOTHING to make society better. He moved from place to place to “start over”. If he was killed by someone who wasn’t a cop, nobody would have given a dam about him, he wouldn’t have had a 5 hour televised funeral and buried in a coffin that he didn’t deserve. There shouldn’t be double standards for any crime! Look who’s committing all of the crimes in NYC? The cameras don’t lie people.

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Midtowngirl

NYC was being looted, destroyed, set on fire. Cop cars set on fire with cops in them, Molotov cocktails, things thrown at cops, injuring them, cops faces streaming with blood, cops being spit on, cursed at to within an inch if their faces with no masks worn by the perp, and being told by superiors not to respond. So some of the rioters got roughed up. Too bad. Obey the law.

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