Viral videos of New York Police Department officers getting drenched by buckets of water have provoked outrage, with many blaming Mayor Bill de Blasio for creating an “anti-police” atmosphere in the city.
The footage, which was posted online Monday, shows young men brazenly dousing on-duty cops in New York’s Harlem and Brooklyn neighborhoods. In both videos, onlookers can be heard reacting with shock and amusement. In some cases, they laugh or prance with joy.
In the Brooklyn incident, an already soaking wet officer is hit in the back of the head with a plastic bucket while he and his partner try to handcuff a suspect on the hood of their squad car.
“Ohhh,” onlookers shout as the bucket bounces off his head.
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In Harlem, young men repeatedly toss water on two cops as they walk away. Then, a youths runs up behind one of the officers and empties a bucket a large, blue bucket on the back of his head.
“Oh, they violated them!” a woman can be heard exclaiming. “Oh, they not stopping!”
According to the New York Post, neither officer notified NYPD about the incident until the video gained attention on social media. None of the cops have been publicly identified.
NYPD officers speak out about videos of cops being drenched by buckets of water
On Monday afternoon, NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan shared a still image from the Harlem video on Twitter and condemned the young men’s actions as “reprehensible.”
The videos of cops being doused with water and having objects hurled at them as they made an arrest in #Harlem is reprehensible. NYC’s cops & communities have made remarkable progress — together — but EVERY New Yorker MUST show respect for our cops. They deserve nothing less. pic.twitter.com/mPtPPbUSGZ
— Chief Terence Monahan (@NYPDChiefofDept) July 22, 2019
In a follow-up tweet, Monahan voiced support for the police and their “very difficult work.” He directed them to “make arrests when necessary.”
To NY’s Finest: the work you do every day is remarkable. We trust you to do what is a very difficult job. Use your discretion — make arrests when necessary — and know that you have our support and full confidence. Thank you for what you do day in and day out. Please stay safe. pic.twitter.com/6Px4asur1h
— Chief Terence Monahan (@NYPDChiefofDept) July 22, 2019
An anonymous NYPD source told the Post: “Everybody’s outraged. It’s disgusting, embarrassing. There’s lawlessness around here now.”
The source blamed the NYPD’s “hands-off approach to these guys” under Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Mayor Bill de Blasio to blame?
An anonymous NYPD supervisor said: “Today it’s a bucket of water. Tomorrow it could be a bucket of cement.”
“Who does that in their right frame of mind? People who believe there’s no consequences,” the supervisor said. “There’s total anarchy out here. This is very sad.”
In a statement Monday, the head of the NYPDs’ largest police union, Patrick J. Lynch, blamed de Blasio and lawmakers for promoting lawlessness by disempowering law enforcement and pushing “anti-police” rhetoric.
“Our anti-cop lawmakers have gotten their wish: the NYPD is now frozen. It’s not the fault of these police officers. It’s the end result of the torrent of bad policies and anti-police rhetoric that has been streaming out of City Hall and Albany for years now,” said Lynch, president of the New York City Police Benevolent Association.
“We are approaching the point of no return. Disorder controls the streets, and our elected leaders refuse to allow us to take them back.”
On Tuesday, former law-and-order New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, now President Donald Trump’s lawyer, slammed de Blasio, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, for empowering “Left wing idiots” to humiliate his officers.
“This disrespect for the uniform in NYC is result of a Democrat-Progressive (Retrogressive)-Socialist Mayor,” Giuliani tweeted of the Brooklyn video. “This is what happens with knee-jerk disrespect for police. It will only get worse until these Left wing idiots are defeated.”
He added: “This is the result of left wing policies of one of the ‘Progressive’ Democrat candidates for President. He is single handedly trying to deconstruct all that the two prior Mayors accomplished. Most be respect for those who protect us.”
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De Blasio has had a strained relationship with the NYPD since his first mayoral campaign in 2013, when he promised to end the city’s stop-and-frisk policies. It has only worsened since he took office in 2014. Critics have accused de Blasio of siding with anti-police protestors amid a national debate over police conduct triggered in part by the death of Eric Garner while he was being arrested by NYPD officers.
During the first Democratic presidential debate last month, de Blasio reiterated previous comments about how he warns his black son to be careful when interacting with police.
“Something that sets me apart from all my colleagues running in this race and that is for the last 21 years I’ve been raising a black son in America,” De Blasio said in response to a question about gun violence. “I have had to have very, very serious talks with my son, including how to deal with the fact that he has to take special caution.”
Afterwards, the NYPD union issued a statement blasting the mayor for what it called his “anti-police rhetoric.”
“Mayor De Blasio has apparently learned nothing over the past six years about the extremely damaging impact of anti-police rhetoric on both cops and the communities we serve,” the statement said.
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