Breaking News: Police officer at center of Minneapolis riots has been arrested

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN – We’ve just learned that fired Minneapolis police officer David Chauvin has been arrested.

This comes just days after George Floyd’s fatal arrest that sparked protests and outcry across the city and nation and has lead to widespread looting and vandalism.

The announcement was just made by John Harrington, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

He said that Chauvin has been taken into custody in connection with the May 25 death.

This is a breaking story and we’ll update with more details on the arrest as they become available.

In the meantime, riots and protesting are spreading across America.

Thursday evening, police arrested more than 40 demonstrators in the city after the violent protests from Minnesota spread to New York.

According to NYPD, multiple officers were hurt.

Among them was one who was struck in the head with a garbage can and another who was punched in the face.

Despite mandates to wear a mask in public and practice social distancing, other protestors spit at police and gathered in large groups.

A public spokesperson for NYPD said a protestor also tried to remove an officer’s gun from its holster.

“Peaceful protest is always the best way to protest,” the spokesperson urged.

FDNY confirmed to local media that four police officers were injured and transported to nearby hospitals.

They also said one woman was arrested for carrying a large knife.

As the day went on, more than five protestors were arrested near Union Square Park for throwing bottles at officers.

By 9:30 p.m., more than 40 people had been arrested.

Among them were the person who threw a garbage can at an officer’s head and someone else who is accused of punching a female NYPD inspector in the chest.

Videos all over social media showed protesters battling with police.

In some of the clips, the crowd could be heard chanting “Black lives matter” or “Hands up, don’t shoot.”

As the sun went down, the crowds grew throughout Manhattan.

You could see in one video an officer who was holding a video camera repeatedly tell protesters to “back up” as other officers made an arrest behind him… and the two were surrounded by a swarm of masked, young people surrounded them.

Dermot Shea, the city’s police commissioner, had condemned the Minnesota incident even before the protests in the city began.

“This is not acceptable anywhere,” he tweeted about Floyd’s death.

Again – where is Mayor De Blasio in all of this?

Let’s flash back to May 1.

Two days after de Blasio threatened to unleash the NYPD on the Jewish community, police intervened in a funeral in another Jewish neighborhood, which brought tensions even higher than they have been.

New York City, and places throughout the country have seen people who are tiring of being locked down with draconian stay-at-home orders starting to kick back.

According to the New York Post, video obtained showed a substantial police presence on in a Hasidic Jewish neighborhood in the borough of Brooklyn.

In one such video, horns are heard honking, and sirens in the background as police are ordering bystanders to back up. Someone can be heard saying:

“This is getting violent over here. They just arrested somebody.”

In a different clip that was recorded from inside a vehicle, one can see police tape stretched across a street with a NYPD officer telling the driver, “Keep going straight! Keep going straight!”

This occurrence also involved a funeral procession.

That funeral, which was for a prominent rabbi, Chaim Mertz who died of COVID-19, led to the warning from de Blasio to have people arrested. In a tweet, he specifically called out the Jewish community, which led to widespread criticism, including from the sergeant’s union of the NYPD.

A spokesperson for the NYPD said that police were called to a synagogue on Kent Ave. in Brooklyn, and that two summonses were issued over doors being chained from the inside; another summons was issued for a “felony” social distancing violation.

In another incident in Borough Park, the police department received information that a car carrying a body would be passing through the intersection there so family members would be able to cite prayers, according to Yeshiva World News, an Orthodox news website.

Out of concern that there would be large crowds again, officers were dispatched to the area. When they attempted to limit those gathered to family only, things got out of control.

An NYPD spokesperson said that a 17-year-old was taken into custody and summonsed.

According to the Jerusalem Post, other videos posted on Twitter and Whatsapp showed a heavy police presence in two largely Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods, with Yeshiva World News saying that something in the neighborhood of 75 tickets were issued to those walking outside without masks or who were violating social distancing guidelines.

NYPD officers also went to several Satmar Hasidic synagogues in Williamsburg on Thursday; ten summonses were issued at two synagogues in South Williamsburg, with eight for chaining doors from the inside and three social distancing summonses.

It is unfortunate, but the rank and file NYPD officers are being put in a bad position because of the actions of de Blasio. Twitter was not kind to either the NYPD or the city administration.

“For months, the Jewish communities of NYC begged the city administration for increased NYPD presence, as Jews were getting smashed in the head with bricks. We were told manpower was unavailable. Today that was shown to be a lie.

“Terrorizing people by sending in armies of cops during such stressful times is not helpful at all. @NYMayor—we need real leadership. Stop the chaos now,” said State Senator Simcha Felder.

At a press conference, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea showed no sympathy or concern for the Jewish population, saying that future violations of social distancing would be met with “stern consequences.”

“Make no mistake, this large gathering…is putting members of my department at risk and it cannot happen and it will not happen,” Shea said.

We hope de Blasio and Shea are happy. They are driving a wedge between the NYPD and yet another group of people who would normally be supportive of the police. 

In case you missed our report on the incident earlier this week, we have shared it again below.

DIGGING DEEPER

This editorial was written by a former Chief of Police, who is a staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.

NEW YORK, N.Y.- It is pretty safe to say that there is no love lost between members of the New York City Police Department and the mayor of the city, Bill de Blasio.

From de Blasio’s constantly throwing down for criminals, advocating for the release of prisoners from Rikers Island to his initial support of bail reform laws that taxes the resources of the department, this is not a love-hate relationship…it is strictly hate-hate.

After de Blasio sent out a tweet threatening to sic the police on the Jewish community, the president of one of the police department’s unions referred to de Blasio as “an idiot.”

“The truth of the matter is the guy’s an idiot. He has no idea what he’s doing,” said Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeant’s Benevolent Association (SBA), which represents approximately 13,000 active and retired sergeants.

“He’s embarrassed and he thinks he’s taken a hardcore approach.”

On Tuesday, de Blasio sent out a tweet in which he threatened to arrest members of the Jewish and other communities who gather in large groups during the current coronavirus epidemic.

In his Tuesday night tweet, de Blasio was criticizing Orthodox Jews who were attending a funeral at a synagogue in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.

Pictures of the gathering showed that an overwhelming number of attendees were wearing face coverings or masks, with only a handful not doing so. That wasn’t good enough for de Blasio apparently.

In his tweet, de Blasio noted that while he understood the instinct to come together for the purposes of mourning the loss of a loved one, he said that “large gatherings will only lead to more deaths + more families in mourning,” then adding that he “instructed the NYPD to proceed immediately to summons or even arrest those who gather in large groups. This is about stopping this disease and saving lives. Period”

The portion of the tweet that garnered the most attention was the fact that it was specifically addressed to “the Jewish community,” which was called out by name.

The SBA sent out a tweet criticizing de Blasio’s threat:

“Mayor de Blasio, YOU cannot instruct they NYPD to violate people’s rights! This event was a funeral this community will NOT leave bodies in their homes for you.”

“The grand rabbi from Williamsburg passed away. The community followed all guidance & wore masks,” a second tweet said.

“The Shomrim was there giving out masks if they saw somebody on the street without a mask. They did an excellent job. The only issue is you’re incompetent and targeted people of faith.”

Mullins, who has been a member of the NYPD for over 38 years, noted that the Jewish community regularly holds large gatherings and “what occurred last night is not new. This happens all the time. What occurred last night was different because the community was giving out masks. They were trying to keep things organized.”

Mullins said he was shocked and angered by de Blasio’s response, especially his hardline stand, especially given the fact that the Jews in attendance were mourning the loss of a religious leader.

“Whatever treated him to go out and take a stance, he did it at a funeral for people of faith and I question what he’s doing by doing that, “Mullins said.

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Mullins also questioned the apparent contrast in how de Blasio treated the Jewish gathering in comparison to when the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels conducted a fly-over of the city to honor and show solidarity with essential workers.

He noted that there hadn’t been any type of enforcement order issued in dealing with crowds gathered for that event.

“So why did you target people of faith at a funeral? Ironically, there’s a video of a woman. She had her husband’s body, I believe it was, in an apartment for several days. So, what do you expect people to do? The city’s not responding.

“We have people who are sick, go to hospitals, they have no family members, they’re dying alone, some of them are doctors and nurses, and they’re being buried with really no funerals,” Mullins said.

Mullins continued:

“So you have a community that’s doing what they always do. They’re in their own community. They didn’t have a problem with it. I wasn’t at the funeral. I wasn’t infected myself with anything, but I just looked at photos and they’re wearing masks.

“So, this is what your biggest complaint is that you felt it necessary to get out of bed and go yell at people from a funeral? You took away Easter Sunday church from us. I’m Catholic, I didn’t get to go to mass on Easter Sunday. How much ore of this can you expect people to take?”

Mullins was not done there either. He slammed de Blasio for his earlier response to the coronavirus where he encouraged people to “visit Chinatown, and go for walks, go out to dinner.”

In a news conference on Wednesday, de Blasio attempted to justify his comments, saying that he was “trying to protect police and those gathering. I spoke last night out of passion. I could not believe my eyes, it was deeply distressing.” However Mullins was not convinced.

“We’ve had cops killed under him, cops injured under him, cops abused under him,” Mullins said. “So don’t tell me you’re trying to keep police safe and it puts us in harm’s way.”

As Law Enforcement Today reported back in January, New York City, as well as its suburbs has been the scene of a substantial increase in anti-Semitic crimes, including a machete attack in Monsey, located in Rockland County north of the city. One of the victims of the attack, Josef Neumann, 72, died of his injuries last month.

The attack was part of a spike in such attacks, with anti-Semitic hate crimes increasing by 26 percent in 2019, which in turn led to an increase of police presence in Brooklyn neighborhoods with reported incidents.

“Let’s eliminate the virus, let’s just eliminate that. Look at the hate crimes that have occurred in the last two years in the Jewish community. I mean it’s been nonstop.

“And the truth is, it’s always been an issue, but it’s been nonstop the last two years. And you’re the Mayor of this city, you’re keeping out all these things, this isn’t gonna happen on your watch.

Well, it’s happening. So what do you expect people to do? They’re not following your direction,” Mullins said.

“It’s just amazing that he even went out and took a position on this. I mean just him taking a position is significant, but at a funeral for people of faith?

“And it’s no secret, the Jewish community is a faithful community, so to sit there and be like ‘this is it.’ You’re making provisions for everything else, maybe you should make provisions of look, if this is gonna happen, this is how we should do it. And at least accommodate people to that degree.”

You’ve got to give de Blasio credit…he has an impeccable sense of timing. This incident occurred only days after de Blasio was seen walking through Prospect Park in Brooklyn with his wife Chirlane McCray, in apparent disregard of his admonitions for New Yorkers to remain at home. Not only that, but the park is 11 miles away from his home in Manhattan.

Finally, contrast de Blasio’s threat to the Jewish community with a tweet he sent exactly one week ago. On April 23, in a tweet to the Muslim community, de Blasio said:

“To the Muslim New Yorkers beginning their celebrations tonight who heed halal meals, we have them across 400+ grab and go meal sites, and are bringing hundreds of thousands more to the 32 (emphasis added) sites most frequented by our Muslim communities. Go to nyc.gov/getfood for more.”

So let’s see, quick math here they are bringing “hundreds of thousands of meals” of halal meals to “32 sites.” Hmmm, Mr. Mayor…seems like that would be a little bit of excessive social gathering at those 32 locations, no?

God forbid de Blasio single out the Muslim community. The Jewish community? Not so much apparently.

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