NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea pledged that he will suspend officers caught acting violently towards demonstrators protesting racial bias and police brutality.
He also pleaded with local leaders to de-escalate rhetoric against the NYPD, noting that no protesters have been seriously hurt in clashes with police. But numerous officers have been shot at, stabbed and attacked with blunt objects.
Commissioner Shea's press conference came after two officers were ambushed Wednesday night in Brooklyn by a knife-wielding suspect. The incident is being investigated as a terror attack and the NYPD says the suspect, Dzenan Camovic, may be linked to ISIS.
Surveillance video shows Camovic stabbing an officer in the neck, narrowly missing an artery. Shea also played body camera footage of the incident at the press conference, which includes officers yelling for a tourniquet.
He said politicians must be accountable for the impact their rhetoric has on demonstrations.
"It encourages fighting the police during lawful arrests, and while all this is going on we hear silence from so many of our elected officials. It's sickening," he said. "We live in a toxic time, one that increasingly relies on a number of things, selective facts, misinformation and rumor."
He acknowledged that the NYPD, too, must accept accountability for "the damage to civility, for our part in racial bias, in excessive force, unacceptable behavior, unacceptable language and many other mistakes."
Seven videos purported to depict officers acting out are currently under review by NYPD internal affairs.
"I can tell you without a doubt there will probably be some suspensions," he said, adding some cops may face departmental charges.
George Floyd's death at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers last week set off tense protests in dozens of U.S. cities.
Mayor Bill de Blasio instituted a 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew earlier in the week to separate legitimate protesters from rioters.
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