New York, NY – New York police have arrested three men in connection with a series of attacks involving officers being doused with water.
At least one of the officers was hit in the head with a bucket as he was trying to arrest a man, viral cell phone videos showed.
On Tuesday, New York Police Department (NYPD) Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea tweeted photos of three men who were wanted for assault and criminal mischief that occurred during an incident near 7th Avenue and 116th Street in Harlem.
“This incident also involved an NYPD police officer hit in the head with a water bucket,” Chief Shea noted.
On Wednesday, police announced that they have arrested an unnamed 23-year-old man in connection with that attack, the New York Daily News reported.
Police also arrested Ibrahima Niang, 22, on a criminal mischief charge.
Another video showed two officers in Brooklyn’s Brownsville neighborhood as they were repeatedly doused with water as they silently walked down the sidewalk.
According to police sources, the officers had been called to a report of an unruly mob on East New York Avenue, but turned away and left when the group began attacking them with water, according to the New York Daily News.
On Wednesday morning, Crips gang member Courtney Thompson, 28, turned himself in at the 73rd Precinct station in connection with the Brownsville attack, the New York Post reported.
Thompson has been charged with harassment, disorderly conduct, criminal tampering, criminal nuisance, and obstruction of governmental administration.
“Who does that in their right frame of mind?” one police source asked the New York Post. “People who believe there’s no consequences. There’s total anarchy out there.”
“Today it’s a bucket of water. Tomorrow it could be a bucket of cement,” a department supervisor added.
New York Housing Authority Police Department Officer John Williamson was killed in the line of duty on Oct. 8, 1993, after a 30-pound bucket of speckling compound was tossed off of the roof of a six-story building, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
The 25-year-old, four-year veteran-of-the-force was struck by the compound as he was leaving the scene of a prior attack on police, and his killer was later convicted of manslaughter.
The unprovoked attacks enraged the city’s police force and the union, who blamed New York’s “anti-cop” leaders for the officers’ refusal to take any action during the attacks, the New York Daily News reported.
“Our anti-cop lawmakers have gotten their wish: the NYPD is now frozen,” New York City Police Benevolent Association (PBA) President Patrick Lynch said in a statement on Monday.
“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," Lynch said.
“We are approaching the point of no return," Lynch warned. “Disorder controls the streets, and our elected leaders refuse to allow us to take them back. As police officers, we need to draw a line.”
The union president said that officers cannot sit back and allow themselves to be abused.
“In situations like this, we need to take action to protect ourselves and the public,” he continued. “The politicians may not care about the dangerous levels of chaos in our neighborhoods, but police officers and decent New Yorkers should not be forced to suffer.”
Chief of Department Terrence Monahan tweeted that the attack on the officers in Harlem was “reprehensible,” and urged citizens to be respectful of police.
“NYC’s cops & communities have made remarkable progress — together — but EVERY New Yorker MUST show respect for our cops. They deserve nothing less,” Chief Monahan wrote.
In another tweet, he praised the police force for the “remarkable” work they do, and claimed that officers have the department’s “support and full confidence.”
“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,” Chief Monahan said. “Thank you for what you do day in and day out. Please stay safe.”
The department issued a memo to the rank-and-file, and told them that suspects can be charged with felony assault if officers are injured during such attacks, the New York Daily News reported.
The memo reminded officers that they should be prepared to explain how the suspects’ behavior affected their ability to carry out their duties.
Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA) President Ed Mullins said that the memo was nothing more than a “feel-good” message, and that it lacked reassurance from the department that it supports the officers out on the streets.
“The liquids in the buckets could just as easily have been bleach, gasoline, or some other toxic substance,” Mullins noted.
The union president said that the videos of the officers being doused were “horrific and dangerous,” and blamed New York Police Commissioner James O’Neill and Mayor Bill de Blasio for the “lawless behavior and utter disregard for law enforcement” manifested in the footage.
“The perpetrators of these crimes are emboldened by the Mayor, who has shown nothing but disdain and contempt for the police since January 2014, when he was sworn into his first term,” Mullins railed.
He also demanded that Commissioner O’Neill resign from the department.
De Blasio said that the attack on the officer who was hit in the head with the bucket was “completely unacceptable,” the New York Daily News reported.
“We won’t tolerate this kind of disrespect,” the mayor added. “NYPD is investigating.”