City Councilman Jumaane Williams and an aide to Public Advocate Bill de Blasio were detained Monday afternoon after what's being described as a "melee" at the West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn.
According to witnesses and an aide to the councilman, the confusion began when Williams and the public advocate's aide, Kirsten J. Foy, attempted to exit the parade route to attend a luncheon at the Brooklyn Museum.
After passing through an initial police checkpoint, Williams and his group were blocked by three police officers from exiting the route, according to witnesses.
When they attempted to show credentials and identify themselves, the councilman's aide says the officers still would not let them pass. Williams attempted to make a call to the precinct captain, while Foy tried to show the police officers his own credentials.
That is when, according to witnesses, the crowd of police officers grew and formed what they described as a "human barricade" to prevent the group from exiting. Witnesses said the police pushed Williams and his group, and things got "heated" when they asked the officers to stop pushing them.
The officers tripped and shoved Foy to the ground and handcuffed him. Williams was also pushed and handcuffed, witnesses said.
The NYPD said in a statement that the scuffle began when "an unknown individual" punched a police captain on scene."
"In order to separate them from the crowd, Mr. Williams and Mr. Foy, who were handcuffed, were brought across the street and detained their until their identities were established and then released," the statement said.
Williams and Foy were held at the Union Temple of Brooklyn on Eastern Parkway, and released with no charges.
In a brief statement after the incident, Williams said he was going to “take some time to figure it out” and would release an official statement later.
Public Advocate de Blasio said they were waiting for all the details to clear, and called for an investigation by Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
"Two public servants got arrested while trying to show their IDs," he said. “Some police clearly overreacted and that’s not acceptable."
The NYPD statement said that Kelly met personally with Williams and Foy after the incident, and agreed that an investigation should be conducted.
According to his website, Williams is a first-generation Brooklynite of West Indian parentage. His parents are from Grenada.
Copyright AP - Associated Press