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Over 30 cops injured, 300 arrested during NYC riots

Protesters threw projectiles at officers, surrounded patrol vehicles and shouted threats, and damaged police property

Jessica Anderson
New York Daily News

NEW YORK — More than 300 people were arrested in New York City’s overnight violent anti-police brutality demonstrations, in what Mayor Bill de Blasio called a “tense” night for police officers.

A video circulating on social media fueled an already heated debate about the use of police force as an incident caught on camera showed an NYPD cruiser ramming into a crowd of protesters in New York City.

De Blasio said he’s “not going to blame officers” for the incident, instead saying it was wrong for protesters to throw water bottles and other objects while surrounding the NYPD vehicles.

“It’s inappropriate for protesters to surround a police vehicle and threaten police officers. That’s wrong on its face,” de Blasio said late on Saturday night during a press briefing.

Police arrested 345 people during the protests.

The mayor said the pockets of violence were only a small representation of the hundreds of people who turned out in the city to protest the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custory after a white police officer in Minneapolis kneeled on his neck for more than 8 minutes while making an arrest.

“Peaceful protesters, if you’re out tonight... we hear your issues, the need for justice, real change. If you went out, you have been heard,” de Blasio said just before midnight.

“A different element has come into play here,” de Blasio said of the protesters involved in the incident in New York. “Trying to hurt police officers and trying to damage their vehicles -- if a police officer is in that situation they have to get out of that situation.”

An NYPD spokesperson said 33 officers were injured and 47 police vehicles were damaged in demonstrations held across Brooklyn and other neighborhoods throughout New York City.

“The video was upsetting and I wish the officers hadn’t done that, but I also understood that they didn’t start the situation. The situation was started by a group of protesters converging on a police vehicle, attacking that vehicle. It’s unacceptable,” the mayor said.

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea applauded officers for handling what he called an “unprecedented” situation.

“I’m extremely proud of the way you’ve comported yourselves in the face of such persistent danger,” Shea said in a statement released on Sunday.