As New York leaders enable rioters, report shows 47% increase in injuries to NYPD officers so far this year

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NEW YORK, NY — The New York Police Department has reported that 472 of its officers have been injured throughout the city since May 28 while responding to anti-police protests that turned into violent riots.

According to NYPD data, 472 law enforcement officers of various ranks were shot, stabbed, struck by vehicles or assaulted with heavy objects, such as rocks, bricks and Molotov cocktails.

Even the department’s highest ranking officer, Chief Terence Monahan, had his finger broken during a clash with protesters on the Brooklyn Bridge in July.


Of those injured, 319 officers required hospital treatment and seven, like Lt. Richard Mack, who was badly beaten while making an arrest on the Brooklyn Bridge, were admitted to hospitals.

 

There were 7,528 NYPD line-of-duty injuries so far in 2020, up 47 percent from the 5,133 in 2019, NYPD data revealed.



“This behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” NYPD spokeswoman Sgt. Mary Frances O’Donnell told The New York Post.


NYPD Sgt. Joseph Imperatrice told The New York Post:

“The average person doesn’t hear about the daily assaults and injuries to police officers. Officers are hurt every single day whether in regards to being assigned to routine patrol or a riot location.”

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Imperatrice was on the scene during protests in Soho on May 31 and June 1. The protests turned chaotic, and dozens of suspected looters were arrested. While officers were trying to make arrests, Imperatrice said they were pelted by “air mail,” a term that refers to heavy and dangerous objects being thrown at police, such as filled bottles, metal debris, rocks and bricks.

Imperatrice reported that one inspector ended up with a severely sprained hand “tackling a subject running away from the scene of a location where they had just broken storefront windows.”

 

The spike in injuries seems to coincide with the increase in shootings and other violent acts being reported in the city even though overall arrests are down.

 

Statistics show that there has been a 153 percent increase in shooting incidents by the public.

Crime data from the NYPD indicates arrests this year have decreased about 39 percent overall. Arrests for murder are down 9.5 percent; for robbery, 11.1 percent; and for guns, 16.5 percent compared to the same time period in 2019.


Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said:

“The chaos that politicians are encouraging on the streets is putting cops in the hospital.

“It is not just the nearly 500 cops who have been hit with bricks and bottles or otherwise injured during supposedly ‘peaceful’ protests.

“Hundreds more are being injured because criminals are emboldened to fight cops the moment we step on the scene. They know our hands are tied.

“Every New Yorker needs to ask their elected officials how cops can protect them when we can barely protect ourselves.”



As we reported on Aug. 27, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed police reform legislation into law on June 12.

The reforms included the ban on police chokeholds; the appointment of a special prosecutor in cases where civilians are either killed or hurt by police; making it a crime to make a fake, racially biased 911 call; and most prominently, a repeal of 50-a, the law that was used to shield police disciplinary records from the public.

The governor also signed an executive order requiring local governments to reinvent their police departments by April 2021. Departments that do not comply will lose state funding. Cuomo said:

“We’re not going to be a state government subsidizing improper police tactics. We’re not doing it, and this is how we’re going to do it.

“I’m going to sign an executive order today that will require local governments and police departments all across the state — about 500 — to develop a plan that reinvents and modernizes police strategies and programs in their community.”

NYPD officials and unions raised concerns this “diaphragm” provision could restrict arrest techniques and scare police away from action altogether.


Lynch denounced the revision in a PBA statement:

“Nothing short of a full repeal can repair the damage from this insane law.

“That won’t happen, because the mayor and City Council have no intention of actually fixing this problem. They are content to blame cops for the mess they created.

“If they wanted us to be able to do our job safely and effectively, they would never have passed it in the first place.”


Then on July 15, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed five bills for greater police transparency and accountability, including the criminalization of police officers’ use of chokeholds.

The mayor officially banned the use of chokeholds by police officers and made it a misdemeanor crime, even though NYPD has banned its use since 1993.

NYPD officials raised concerns about the current law’s prohibition of compressing a suspect’s diaphragm by sitting, kneeling or standing on someone’s chest or back, according to NY1 News.

Politicians also suggested that the legislation has had a negative effect on police productivity, with plummeting arrests and soaring violence.


Queens Councilman Donovan Richards, who is the Democratic nominee for borough president, said:

“The PBA [Police Benevolent Association] and the police department do not have a right to act on pieces of legislation the Council passes that they don’t like in an active slowdown, because that’s certainly what we are feeling on the ground.

“I would be open to having a conversation about the diaphragm portion of the chokehold bill if this means the New York City Police Department would get back to work. And I don’t want to hear excuses.”

Therefore, during a daily briefing in August, de Blasio confirmed the City Council was looking to change the legislation’s language:

“Clearly, the crucial reform in the original legislation continues. Chokeholds will be illegal no matter what. As I understand, the focus here is just on some clarification on the issue of diaphragms.”

When NY1 reached out to the police officer’s union to ask if there was an intentional work slowdown, the following statement was given to the news organization:

“New York City police officers are doing our job exactly as directed. Mayor de Blasio has touted the NYPD’s reductions in arrests for years. The City Council passed a law that made it impossible to safely arrest a resisting criminal.

“It’s baffling that anybody would expect police officers to step up arrests when our city leaders have made it clear they want fewer arrests and less enforcement, not more.”

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