New York City’s most senior uniformed officer has said he does not believe racism taints the view of the NYPD, as he called for a halt to the throwing of projectiles at police and condemned the wave of looting.
Terence Monahan, who knelt with protesters in Washington Square Park on Monday night, said it was not right that all police be condemned for the actions of Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis.
‘What happened in Minnesota was an outrage, completely and totally, he told CBS This Morning.
‘But 800,000 law enforcement officers around this country are paying the price for what that guy did in Minnesota.’
Chauvin killed George Floyd on May 25 by kneeling on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes during arrest.
Chauvin has been charged with murder, but protests at his actions have now spread to 140 cities across the U.S.
Terence Monahan, the most senior uniformed police officer in New York, has said he does not believe the NYPD is racist and urged the protesters not to resort to violence and looting. Monahan on Monday attended a rally in Washington Square where he knelt beside protesters
Monahan and protesters showed their solidarity in Washington Square on Monday
Monahan, a 35-year veteran of the NYPD who now oversees roughly 40,000 uniformed and civilian members of the service, denied that his force was racist.
‘I don’t believe racism plays a role in New York,’ he said.
‘I can only speak for what I’ve seen in New York City.
‘I would never say that we are a racist police department. Absolutely not.
‘Have incidents happened? Maybe there was a racist incident, something, and that person has been removed from this agency? Absolutely.
‘We all care about the communities we work in. We care deeply in the minority communities, the cops that work there, each and every day.’
The looters targeted stores all over Manhattan, ransacking several retailers in each location, before police arrived. These are just some of the known locations they targeted
Monahan said he understands the protesters anger, but will not allow his officers to be hurt
Monahan said officers in his department frequently face repercussions for inappropriate actions. He said over 100 officers are fired in New York City every year.
He said he understood the protesters’ anger.
Macy’s in New York City was looted on Monday night after protests turned violent
‘Protest, yell, scream, let your rage out, but don’t take your rage out on the community, destroy the businesses that actually employ members of this community,’ he said.
Monahan defended the NYPD’s actions while repressing protests that got out of hand.
In one clip circulating on social media a police patrol car drove into protesters.
An African American reporter for the Wall Street Journal, wearing his press pass, was also slammed to the floor by riot police. The attorney general has promised to investigate.
Monahan said people could not jump to conclusions.
‘You have to look at the entire incident,’ he said.
‘You have to look at the rocks being thrown, the injuries to my officers, what happened before, what precipitated that event.
‘Knowing that we had a commanding officer trapped in his car – his last transmission was, “This may be my last transmission” – dragged out of that car.
‘This is what’s going through a cop’s mind as he gets surrounded.’
Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York, initially sprang to the defense of the police. However, by Sunday his views had changed, and he spoke of his anger at seeing the video of the patrol car mowing down people.
A protester is arrested by police officers for breaking curfew on Eight Avenue in New York City last night
Looters ransacked Manhattan’s designer stores overnight as New York City’s 11pm curfew failed to stop people smashing windows and running off with hundreds of dollars of merchandise. Pictured: Looters raid a Balenciaga store in Manhattan last night
Early next week local politicians in New York plan to hear a measure that would expand a prohibition against the use of chokeholds by outlawing them altogether.
It would additionally bar police officers from placing a knee on the neck of a person being arrested, according to Council Member Donovan Richards, who chairs the Committee on Public Safety.
Richards is also sponsoring a bill that would standardize disciplinary actions in the department.
‘I think [the administration] honestly thought people were going to stay home after the first night,’ of protests, Richards said.
‘I think they thought people were going to stay home after the second night. I think they thought people were going to stay home after the third night.
‘But guess what? The city is shut down and we are going to go out and march every single night.’
A shop owner looks over damage in a looted souvenir and electronics shop near Times Square on Tuesday morning, after violence in midtown Manhattan on the sixth night of protest
The Puma store on Fifth Avenue was being boarded up on Tuesday morning
An AT&T store on Tuesday morning after being ransacked by looters
Cartier and Versace had all been entirely boarded up on Tuesday morning. Stores further down Fifth Avenue were ransacked
Saks Fifth Avenue, the iconic department store, was boarded up entirely on Tuesday morning