Videos of unidentified assailants tossing buckets worth of water at an NYPD officer in Harlem have gone viral, prompting outrage from high-ranking officials and criticism over the perception that New York cops are too afraid to stand up for themselves.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the incident “unacceptable” and said an investigation is underway.
In the videos, an NYPD officer is seen arresting someone during what appears to be a traffic stop. Then, a few bucket’s worth of water is seen being tossed onto the officer, from various directions. Someone also throws a large ball at the cop, which bounces off his head. There have been no arrests in connection to the incident, which occurred recently in the 28th Precinct and started making the rounds online Monday.
During the incident, the unidentified cop appears unfazed, and does not respond to the assault.
According to a department-wide memo released Friday, NYPD may charge the suspects with obstruction of governmental administration in the second degree, third-degree criminal tampering, second-degree harassment and disorderly conduct.
But as word spreads of the incident, outrage grows.
“DISRESPECT. This is what #NYPD Officers are faced with today. Petrified to take action,” NYC Scanner account said on Twitter, along with the hashtag #BlueLivesMatter.
— NYC Scanner (@NYScanner) July 22, 2019
— NYC Scanner (@NYScanner) July 22, 2019
NYPD Chief of Department, Terence A. Monahan, shared an image of the video on social media, calling for citizens to respect officers. “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.”
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
Mayor de Blasio also lambasted the assailants, saying, “The NYPD kept New Yorkers safe through the heatwave and last night’s outages. We won’t tolerate this kind of disrespect. NYPD is investigating.”
De Blasio also had a Twitter exchange with former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani about the incident. Giuliani called it a left-wing issue that will “only get worse until these left wing idiots are defeated.”
“When you disrespect our NYPD officers, you disrespect ALL New Yorkers. We don’t tolerate that in our city. The truth is crime’s never been lower in New York City and that’s because we’re bridging the divide between police and communities — a divide @RudyGiuliani helped create,” de Blasio replied.
When you disrespect our NYPD officers, you disrespect ALL New Yorkers. We don’t tolerate that in our city.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) July 23, 2019
The Police Benevolent Association (PBA) demanded stronger laws after the “water bucket” attack. “We have been down this road before — words of support are meaningless if they’re not backed up by concrete action to address the lawlessness on our streets.”
.@NYCPBA DEMANDS STRONGER LAWS AFTER
“WATER BUCKET” ATTACK VIDEOS
“We have been down this road before — words of support are meaningless if they’re not backed up by concrete action to address the lawlessness on our streets.” pic.twitter.com/SEIxdx353a
— NYC PBA (@NYCPBA) July 23, 2019
But some New York citizens were hesitant to pass judgement on those who tossed water at cops.
“Residents have been angered by mistreatment citizens receive. Including police not being charged for blatant wrongful deaths. Dumping water on officers is what gets called out for swift punishment. Maybe building a better relationship with the community would make more sense,” said New Yorker Teisha Hickman on Twitter.
As a former cop who fought for reform from inside, I never stood silent when a civilian was disrespected. I damn sure won’t be silent at this disrespect of these symbols of our safety. We’ve come too far as community and police to permit this foolishness. https://t.co/7aQW9goND4
— Eric Adams (@BPEricAdams) July 22, 2019
I’m weak at all the whites upset at this but not upset when they violating people
— t (@YoungTiger__) July 23, 2019
Just a couple of questions..why weren’t the assaulters arrested? And should these officers be suspended? The non-actions of the cops makes the #NYPD look soft to our city and our country..God forbid if that was another dangerous liquid then it would be a real issue
— Jc (@jrcorn80) July 23, 2019