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Policing in New York City under far-left Democratic mayor Bill de Blasio has been no easy task, as seen in several videos where police officers are seen being attacked by lawless residents.
Add the stress of the coronavirus pandemic to the mix — NYC remains the epicenter of the outbreak in America — and things don’t get any easier.
But an overly aggressive officer captured on video Saturday punching an East Village man intervening in an arrest did the men in blue no favors.
Cops were involved in what’s being reported by the liberal New York Daily News as an arrest for a social distancing violation. As a crowd begins to gather, a plainclothes cop identified as Officer Francisco Garcia tells people to get back.
Pulling his Taser, he zeroes in on a bystander he clearly felt threatened by, though it’s not clear what the man is doing because he is not on camera.
“Move the f–k back right now,” Garcia is heard yelling at the man. “What are you flexing for?”
As the officer holsters the Taser, the man, identified by the Daily News as 33-year-old Donni Wright, is seen coming back at Garcia, squaring up in his face.
Police said Wright “took a fighting stance,” and the video appears to confirm this, but the first blow came from Officer Garcia, who immediately tried to subdue Wright, and began punching him as he resisted.
Someone in the background is then heard saying what proves to be a common refrain when people make unwise decisions with police, “He didn’t even do nothing.”
Mayor de Blasio responded online to the incident on Sunday — in what equates to his cops having “acted stupidly” in the moment, he sided with the perp challenging the authority of the police.
“Saw the video from the Lower East Side and was really disturbed by it,” de Blasio said in a tweet. “The officer involved has been placed on modified duty and an investigation has begun. The behavior I saw in that video is simply not acceptable.”
Saw the video from the Lower East Side and was really disturbed by it. The officer involved has been placed on modified duty and an investigation has begun. The behavior I saw in that video is simply not acceptable.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) May 3, 2020
As for the claim of a social distancing arrest, buried in the Daily News article is the little gem that officers approached a group not following social distancing mandates, only to see a large amount of marijuana in open view, according to police.
The armed man who owned the weed “became aggressive, according to cops and a woman with him tried to intervene in the arrest.”
More from the newspaper:
Wright was arrested and charged with assault on a police officer, menacing, resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration, and two counts of disorderly conduct.
The man and woman initially being arrested, Shakiem Brunson, 31, and Ashley Serrano, 22, were both hit with a slew of charges including resisting arrest, weapon possession and disorderly conduct. Brunson was also charged with marijuana possession.
Garcia’s actions appear to be very aggressive, but it underlies the environment that de Blasio has created in the city that police must endure.
Just last month, a video went viral of a NYPD officer being punched in the face as he and a partner tried to arrest a man wanted for robbery. Much like Saturday’s incident, a crowd had gathered and a man wearing a mask maneuvers behind one of the cops and sucker punched him.
This video from the 52 Precinct shows a man interfering in an arrest by punching a cop. The NYPD has kept NYers safe throughout the COVID-19 pandemic with historic amounts of cops going sick. We won’t tolerate this kind of disrespect. He ran, we caught him, & charges are pending. pic.twitter.com/hcwC6w28Ov
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) April 8, 2020
This does not appear to be an exception in the city, based on other reported incidents of this nature.
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