Third Person Arrested in NYPD Officer Attack on Brooklyn Bridge

A third 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 on the Brooklyn Bridge, authorities said Saturday.

Zachary Campbell, 32, was arrested on charges of resisting arrest, riot and obstructing governmental administration, police said Saturday - a day after they announced the arrest of 36-year-old Maria Garcia on the same charges.

It wasn't immediately clear if either of the two Brooklyn residents had lawyers. 

The attack on the officers was captured on video and released by police to the public as part of the investigation. Police had said they were seeking a total of seven suspects who were seen on amateur video pushing, kicking and punching two officers as they attempted to arrest an eighth person. Three of the seven have now been arrested, as has the man the officers were initially trying to arrest, according to the NYPD.

On Thursday, another of the suspects surrendered to police.

The attack happened at the end of a massive march 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 Friday, 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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