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Brooklyn protest fallout: Mayor Adams says there will be review of NYPD actions, Public Advocate Williams condemns ‘aggression’


The NYPD’s response to a Brooklyn pro-Palestine protest over the weekend continues to draw scrutiny from public officials concerned that police went too far in videos showing officers roughly arresting demonstrators.

Mayor Eric Adams, while saying that the officers responding to the May 18 Nakba Day protest in Bay Ridge had done “a commendable job under very difficult circumstances,” said on Monday morning that his administration would review an “isolated incident” in which officers were filmed punching and pinning demonstrators on the pavement.

“After every demonstration we do an after incident briefing. We’re going to do that, we’re going to analyze that,” the mayor said during a 1010 WINS interview on May 20. “That isolated incident we will review but those police officers did a commendable job under very difficult circumstances.”

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams took to X (formerly known as Twitter) on Sunday to declare that he will launch an investigation into the way police handled Saturday’s protest.

“We are alarmed by the aggression present in the NYPD’s response toward those at yesterday’s long-standing march in Bay Ridge, home to NYC’s largest Palestinian population. Our office will investigate further, but it’s clear this conduct against nonviolent demonstrators is inexcusable,” Williams wrote.

When reaching out for a response, the NYPD directed amNewYork Metro to X, where lately, it has been doing most of its talking.

In a post also published late Sunday night, the department charged that they will not accept the notion that those arrested were “victims,” and further alleged that most of those arrested were “outside agitators” with previous track records of arrests for disruptive protest.

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams is joining the growing list of elected officials speaking out against the NYPD’s response to a Brooklyn pro-Palestine protest over the weekend as the department itself defends the caught-on video, physical arrests. Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

“We will not accept the narrative that persons arrested were victims, nor are we going to allow illegal behavior. Acts committed by 41 people of which 36 WERE NOT FROM THE BAY RIDGE COMMUNITY or the City of New York. 1/3 arrested have a prior arrest history for other non-peaceful protests,” the NYPD wrote.

Police noted that protesters hurled objects at responding police, spat at cops, and resisted and interfered with arrests.

While Williams stated that he believes police officials should be held accountable if wrongdoing is determined to have taken place, he also placed most of the blame at the feet of Mayor Eric Adams. The public advocate, who is the second-highest ranking citywide elected official behind only the mayor, criticized Adams for failing to denounce the atrocities in Palestine with the same strength he used to condemn the terrorist attacks on Israel on Oct. 7, 2023.

“The truth is this Mayor holds the ultimate responsibility for not just allowing but encouraging; almost insisting that the response for anything Palestinian be escalation and disproportionate force,” Williams wrote.