What to Know
- Police are looking for three men allegedly involved in dousing NYPD cops with water, and throwing a bucket at one officer's head
- 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
UPDATE: 3 Arrested Over Viral Videos of NYPD Cops Doused With Water
The NYPD is searching for three men allegedly involved in videos that went viral on social media that showed police officers getting doused with buckets of water — and at least one instance, have a bucket thrown at their head.
The videos surfaced on Monday and have 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."
People on social media were equally appalled by the behavior but some say that it was just water. However, the Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York blamed the incidents on anti-police sentiment and rhetoric that have been "streaming out of City Hall and Albany for years."
"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.