Woman Arrested in NYPD Officer Attack on Brooklyn Bridge

Another suspect has been arrested in connection with an attack on two officers during a protest over the death of Eric Garner - part of an aggressive manhunt by police following the beating, authorities said.

Maria Garcia, 36, of Brooklyn, has been charged with resisting arrest, second-degree obstructing governmental administration and second-degree rioting in the attack, which was captured on video and released by police to the public as part of the investigation. 

It wasn't immediately clear if she had a lawyer. 

The development follows Thursday's surrender of another one of the seven suspects seen on amateur video pushing, kicking and punching two officers on the Brooklyn Bridge. Five are still being sought.

Garcia was identified as the woman in the red scarf in a picture released by police earlier in the week. 

The attack happened at the end of a massive march last week protesting a grand jury decision not to indict a police officer in Garner's death.

Meanwhile, Mayor Bill de Blasio met with both leaders of the protests and the NYPD as tensions between police and the community continue to mount. 

In the afternoon, he ventured to NYPD headquarters to heap praise on the force, a week after an angry police union circulated a petition to bar him from any NYPD funerals.

And in the evening, a pair of protests — one pro-police, the other against — were held outside City Hall, with each side yelling at the other while claiming a lack of support from its occupant.

"The mayor is making a big mistake. The police are the most important thing to control what goes on in this city," said Andrew Insardi, whose brother is a retired NYPD officer.

De Blasio, the city's first Democratic mayor in a generation, formerly was an activist who, were he not holding office, likely would have participated in the protest marches that have become a near-nightly ritual after a Staten Island grand jury declined to charge the officer, who is white, in the death of Garner, who was black and repeatedly yelled "I can't breathe!" in his final moments, which were captured on video.

The mayor has voiced support for the protesters' rights, and the traffic-snarling protests have largely been peaceful, though a recent poll found that they are opposed by a majority of New Yorkers. He met with members of the activist group Justice League NYC and said he agreed with some of their proposals — including the need to retrain officers — but would not disavow the "Broken Windows" theory of policing, which cracks down on low-level offenses in an effort to stop more serious crimes.

De Blasio also took pains to say he supports Police Commissioner William Bratton and, hours later in a speech at a NYPD promotions ceremony, heaped praise on officers for their restraint during the protests.

"There is a respect, in some cases, even an awe at what his department has done in recent weeks," he said. "This is the finest police force in the land."

De Blasio was met with polite applause from the crowd at the auditorium at 1 Police Plaza, a far cry from the vitriol directed his way recently from the police unions. Furious that the mayor invoked the warnings he has given his son, who is half black, about being careful around police in light of the Garner decision, the unions accused de Blasio of abandoning them.

The main rank-and-file police union went a step further and began a push to prohibit de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, his ally, from attending any funeral of any officer killed in the line of duty.

The unions themselves steered clear of the small pro-police rally outside City Hall. A few dozen people, including some wearing T-shirts bearing the words "I can breathe," stared down a larger, louder crowd that denounced police violence and took up chants like "How do you spell racist? N-Y-P-D," and "Black lives matter."

There were no immediate reports of altercations or arrests.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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