What to Know
- Three people face charges in connection with the water bucket-dousing of NYPD cops, which sparked outrage after video went viral this week
- The videos surfaced Monday and sparked debate on whether the behavior was simply a prank on a hot day, or a display of anti-police sentiment
- The NYPD sent out a memo outlining a number of possible violations for which cops could ticket offenders, including disorderly conduct
Three people face charges after videos went viral on social media showing police officers getting doused with buckets of water — and at least one instance, having a bucket thrown at their heads, while making an arrest in Manhattan.
NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan tweeted Wednesday morning that a 28-year-old "known gang member" had been cuffed in the case. "Actions like we’ve seen in videos recently will NEVER be tolerated in this city," he added.
The second and third arrests followed shortly thereafter. Those charged include Courtney Thompson, Isiah Scott and Chad Bowden, all 28. They face varying charges including disorderly conduct, harassment, criminal mischief and obstructing government administration, among other offenses. It wasn't immediately clear if any of the three had retained attorneys.
Two of the suspects were arrested for allegedly throwing water at a woman and ruining her phone as a result, police said. They were seen in the video of the Harlem incident, but did not take part in chucking water on the officer or throwing the bucket, according to police. The other man arrested was directly involved in dousing an officer.
Police say another man was also wanted for questioning, releasing his photo Wednesday night.
The videos surfaced on Monday and sparked debate on whether the behavior was simply a prank on a hot day, or a display of anti-police sentiment. One of the videos shows officers making an arrest in Harlem, with the suspect in custody on the back of a police cruiser. Onlookers were tossing buckets of water on the cops, and at one point threw one of the buckets at an officer's head.
NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea sent out a tweet Tuesday evening including images of the men wanted for questioning in the "assault/criminal mischief" on West 116th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.
Another video showed two NYPD cops, already soaking wet, walking away and getting covered with another bucket of water, as people seen on the video watched with shocked expressions on their faces.
NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill retweeted Shea, adding that "As a city & a PD, we’ll never accept such disrespect."
In an internal NYPD memo obtained by News 4 Tuesday, the department said, "Police officers are not expected to tolerate conduct that may cause risk of injury to themselves and the public, interferes with the performance of their duties or tampers with or damages their uniform, equipment or other department property."
The memo outlined a number of possible violations for which cops could ticket offenders, including disorderly conduct, harassment and obstructing governmental administration.
People on social media praised the officers for continuing to do their jobs and just walking away, but local officials say the behavior is unacceptable.
"The videos of cops being doused with water and having objects hurled at them as they made an arrest in #Harlem is reprehensible. NYC’s cops & communities have made remarkable progress — together — but EVERY New Yorker MUST show respect for our cops. They deserve nothing less," NYPD Chief Terence Monahan said in a tweet.
Mayor de Blasio echoed Chief Monahan by retweeting him and saying "The NYPD kept New Yorkers safe through the heat wave and Sunday night's outages. We won't tolerate this kind of disrespect."
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"As police officers, we need to draw a line. In situations like this, we need to take action to protect ourselves and the public," the union said in a statement.
The NYPD is investigating all the incidents and the people involved could potentially face criminal charges.