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NYPD

NYPD Boss Testifies During NY AG's Hearing on Recent Interactions Between Cops, Public

Monday's public hearing marked the third hearing overall the state's Attorney General's Office has held over the interactions between the NYPD and the public, specifically during the protests over the past few weeks

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What to Know

  • New York City Police Department Commissioner Dermot Shea testified via teleconference in New York Attorney General Letitia James' ongoing investigation into the recent interactions between the NYPD and the public, specifically during the protests over the past few weeks.
  • Monday's public hearing marked the third hearing overall the state's Attorney General's Office has held regarding the matter.
  • Shea spent his morning defending his department against claims cops were too rough with protesters this past month.

New York City Police Department Commissioner Dermot Shea testified via teleconference in New York Attorney General Letitia James' ongoing investigation into the recent interactions between the NYPD and the public, specifically during the protests over the past few weeks.

Monday's public hearing marked the third hearing overall the state's Attorney General's Office has held regarding the matter.

Shea spent his morning defending his department against claims cops were too rough with protesters this past month. The state's Attorney General pressed him on allegations of excessive force and the commissioner mostly pushed back.

In one particular case, he defended the cops seen in a since viral video driving their patrol SUVs into a crowd of demonstrators.

It was one of the most striking videos this month. The video shows protesters taunting and throwing things at a pair of NYPD SUVs when suddenly the vehicles roll forward -- into the crowd.

On Monday, James asked Shea if that action by the NYPD was appropriate.

"Two cars we discussed earlier, where you thought it was appropriate that the cars can be used to use, I guess, clear a road or to mow down peaceful protesters," Jame said.

Shea replied: "I think that couldn't be further, what you just described, from an accurate report."

Multiple videos appeared to show two police vehicles hit a group of protestors in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn around 8 p.m. Saturday.

Shea responded in defense of the police -- saying they were fearing for their safety.

"What would you do if you were set upon and you were in danger and I think that that description of running over peaceful protesters, I don't think you're being fair," he said.

The police commissioner's testimony was part of the Attorney General's review of police tactics during the last month of unrest in New York.  Last week she called Dounya Zayer, a protester seen on THIS video as she's pushed to the ground by Officer Vincent D'Andraia.

"Where the hell is the humanity in watching these officers assault a human for no reason. Because I'm not well and I know many other protesters aren't well," Zayer said last week.

Officer D'Andraia was suspended without pay and later charged with criminal assault.  He did not respond to our request for comment.  Commissioner Shea testified he is one of just a handful of cops who've been disciplined during recent demonstrations - which included millions of police interactions with the public.

An NYPD officer has been charged with assault, harassment and other crimes for allegedly "violently" shoving a 20-year-old woman to the ground during a Barclays Center protest over the death of George Floyd, prosecutors said Tuesday. Gus Rosendale reports.

"In that context spanning over three weeks when you look at 5 or 10 people disciplined, I would say that's isolated [incidents]," he said.

During Monday's hearing, Shea characterized protests in late May as often turning violent and he commended rank and file cops for bringing order back to the city. 

The Attorney General's Office reports having received hundreds of complaints about police conduct during the protests, which they are now reviewing.

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