Mayor Bill de Blasio addresses media after he and First Lady Chirlane McCray donated blood during COVID-19 pandemic at New York Blood Center on 67th street.
Lev Radin | Pacific Press | Getty Images
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said reports of police misconduct during the weekend’s violent protests over the cop killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, will be immediately investigated — although he defended a “vast majority” of NYPD officers.
“A vast majority of officers do their job and do their job well. A vast majority of officers are trying to connect to communities and do the right thing,” he said. “They’re in this job for the right reason. There are some who do not belong on this job. There are some that use violence when they shouldn’t.”
What started out as peaceful protests erupted into an all-out riot and violence at times from both sides. De Blasio said the city is investigating an incident where two New York Police Department cars were caught on tape driving into a group of protesters in Brooklyn, jolting into the group and pushing them backward. De Blasio was criticized for initially defending the officers, saying that the incident was caused by the group of protesters surrounding the vehicle.
On Monday, de Blasio said he thought there were times when NYPD officers’ lives were in danger over the weekend. Even so, he said their actions were unacceptable.
“There is no situation where a police vehicle should drive into a crowd of protesters or New Yorkers of any kind. It is dangerous, it is unacceptable,” de Blasio said. “This was an extremely aberrant situation.”
The NYPD and an independent review board is investigating the situation, de Blasio said.
He said that several other incidents from the weekend are now under review, including when an NYPD officer pushed a protester to the ground and another where an officer opened a car door and hit a protester.
In another situation, an NYPD officer pulled his gun out while in the middle of a crowd of protesters and was immediately removed from the situation, de Blasio said.
“That officer should have his gun and badge taken away today. There will be an investigation immediately to determine the larger consequences,” he said.
De Blasio said his daughter, who is black, was also arrested while peacefully protesting this weekend.
This is a developing story. Please check back later for updates.