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[NYPD\George Floyd Protesters"
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: "Your comments tonight were unacceptable. Defending and making excuses for NYPD running SUVs into crowds was wrong."
Photo: YouTube

Last night, during the George Floyd protests in New York, two NYPD vehicles were videotaped driving vehicles through protesters.

During a press conference, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was questioned about the incident--which follows an earlier incident when an NYPD officer was shown throwing Dounya Zayer to the ground. According to Newsweek reporter Jason Lemon, that officer called Zayer "a stupid fucking bitch," before shoving her to the ground.

REPORTER: "Mr. Mayor, there was an incident on Flatbush Avenue, there was a group of people surrounding the vehicle. There was [inaudible] the car. They charged at a gate behind which there were people. So, my questions are twofold. First, what do you think of that incident and two, for the police officers, what is your suggested best practice for officers who were surrounded by people to get out of that situation?"

MAYOR DE BLASIO: "Look, I've seen that video and I've obviously heard about a number of other incidents. It's inappropriate for protesters to surround a police vehicle and threaten police officers. That's wrong on its face and that hasn't happened in the history of protest in this city. I've been watching protests for decades. People don't do that. And so, it's clear that a different element has come into play here who are trying to hurt police officers and trying to damage their vehicles. And if a police officer is in that situation, they have to get out of that situation. 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 protestors converging on a police vehicle attacking that vehicle. It's unacceptable. So, the officers have to get out of that situation. Where it's happened in the last 48 hours they have, but what I want to see is that we get these violent protesters off the streets because the people in New York City, everyday people are not doing this. "They just don't do this to police officers and they don't do it to police vehicles. That's just the fact. We've seen it time and time again what real protest looks like in New York City. It does not look like this. This is the last call."

It should be noted that these protesters were in front of police vehicles. However, it is erroneous to say the NYPD vehicles were surrounded by protesters as the mayor, and reporter, incorrectly stated. The ramming of protesters by these NYPD officers provoked some protesters to violently attack these police vehicles.

Mayor de Blasio's response is being condemned by many, including by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez tweeted to the mayor "your comments tonight were unacceptable. As mayor, this police department is under your leadership. This moment demands leadership & accountability from each of us. Defending and making excuses for NYPD running SUVs into crowds was wrong. Make it right. De-escalate."

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