NY governor apologizes to NYPD over riot response

"There is not a police officer in this country that doesn't condemn what happened in Minnesota and we don't need to be targeted throughout this country for the actions of someone in Minnesota"


Associated Press

NEW YORK — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has apologized to the NYPD commissioner for his scathing rebuke of the department – and the mayor – on Tuesday, a top police official said Wednesday.

NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan told NBC’s "Today" show that Cuomo’s office called him and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea to apologize for statements made during his earlier press conference, when he accused both the department and the mayor of failing to do their jobs in responding to citywide riots.

"You'd have to come out and see what these men and women are doing, don't ever call them ineffective,” Monahan said during the interview. “As a matter of fact, last night his office called and apologized to me. I know he called the commissioner directly to apologize that that is not what he meant – that he did not mean to put down the police officers.”

Police said nearly 700 people were arrested and several officers were injured during the chaos Monday night and early Tuesday. The numbers for Tuesday night into Wednesday -- when a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. was imposed -- have not yet been released.

Monahan said Wednesday he hopes Cuomo apologizes publicly during the day’s regularly scheduled press conference, noting, “The men and women of this agency have done a remarkable job in probably unprecedented times and I couldn't be prouder of the work the men and women of this agency have done."

He further defended fellow members of the department, saying they have arrested people from outside the New York City area, and noted that some groups within the protests are “looking for nothing but trouble.”

“We've gotten intel from people, we've got various different groups of anarchists that have been out trying to push their agenda out there, to hijack the movement, to cause nothing but chaos and mayhem and destructing the city and just to attack police officers,” Monahan said.

"That's not what this is about. This is about people protesting something that they found unjustified, that was unjustified in Minnesota, to get their voice out. But this not and should never have been an attack on police officers. There is not a police officer in this country that doesn't condemn what happened in Minnesota and we don't need to be targeted throughout this country for the actions of someone in Minnesota."

Thousands of people have taken to the streets around the nation to express outrage over George Floyd’s May 25 death and other killings of black people, particularly by police. Floyd, who was black, died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee on his neck.

On Monday, an 11 p.m. curfew — the city's first in decades — failed to prevent destruction as groups of people smashed their way into shops, including Macy's flagship Manhattan store.

Cuomo called the night’s events “inexcusable” and threatened to call in the National Guard.

“The NYPD and the mayor did not do their job last night, I believe that,” Cuomo said at his briefing in Albany on Tuesday. “You have 38,000 NYPD people. It is the largest police department in the United States of America. Use 38,000 people and protect property.”

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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