NYC mayor calls for reform of the NYPD

NEW YORK, USA - JUNE 4: Security forces take measures as protesters demonstrate against the death of George Floyd in New York, United States on June 4, 2020.(Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Mayor Bill de Blasio is promising further reform of the New York City Police Department following criticism for the harsh tactics used by some officers enforcing this week's 8 p.m. curfew.

"There are things we need to address, there are things we need to fix in the NYPD, but the overall restraint levels were clear," de Blasio said at his daily briefing Friday.

Alluding to instances of police enforcing the curfew aggressively, de Blasio promised unspecified police reform during the remaining year and a half of his administration.

"You will see those results, and you’ll judge for yourself as all New Yorkers do," he said.

Protesters again stayed on the streets past 8 p.m. on Thursday in defiance of the curfew, but de Blasio noted that most of the demonstrations were peaceful and said that, in contrast to the smash-and-grab and destruction that took place earlier in the week, "there were few or no attacks on property."

But several videos posted to Twitter on Thursday night showed police aggressively confronting peaceful protesters — often resulting in arrest — in the Bronx and elsewhere. In some places, police watched but didn't immediately move in, or made orderly arrests without the batons and riot gear of previous nights.

De Blasio said reports of police misconduct would be investigated. “In each and every case, there must be a full investigation and where discipline is warranted it must be speedy,” he said.


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NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea apologized for the actions by some officers.

"Without a doubt, there will probably be a couple of officers suspended," said Shea during a briefing at 1 Police Plaza Thursday.

The mayor tweeted early Friday that he had spoken to Shea after seeing a video of a delivery worker arrested. De Blasio reiterated at his briefing that “any essential worker doing their job is exempted from the curfew.”

De Blasio noted that journalists, like food delivery workers, are exempted from the curfew. “There is no circumstance in which a member of the news media should ever be arrested by the NYPD or any other police organization,” he said.

De Blasio had previously condemned police for roughing up journalists, including two from the AP who were shoved, cursed at and told to go home by officers Tuesday night.