Several hours after disturbing videos surfaced of New York Police Department (NYPD) officers getting drenched with buckets of water, the police department issued a memo saying that those officers are eligible to press charges against those people.
“[P]olice officers are not expected to tolerate conduct that may cause risk of injury to themselves or the public, interferes with performance of their duties, or tampers with or damages their uniform, equipment or other department property,” the memo, which was circulated throughout the department, reads.
The letter continues saying that if officers ever find themselves in such a situation, they may press charges against the alleged offenders with second-degree obstruction of governmental administration, third-degree criminal tampering, second-degree harassment, and disorderly conduct.
The two videos posted on social media Monday showed the officers getting soaked with water while young men in Harlem and Brooklyn threw bucketfuls of water in their direction.
The videos quickly went viral, prompting top NYPD brass and others to speak out on Twitter.
The videos of cops being doused with water and having objects hurled at them as they made an arrest in #Harlem is reprehensible. NYC’s cops & communities have made remarkable progress — together — but EVERY New Yorker MUST show respect for our cops. They deserve nothing less. pic.twitter.com/mPtPPbUSGZ
— Chief Terence Monahan (@NYPDChiefofDept) July 22, 2019
“The videos of cops being doused with water and having objects hurled at them as they made an arrest in #Harlem is reprehensible,” NYPD Chief Terence Monahan tweeted on Monday. “NYC’s cops & communities have made remarkable progress — together — but EVERY New Yorker MUST show respect for our cops. They deserve nothing less.”
Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio chimed in, calling the incidents “completely unacceptable”:
Completely unacceptable. A video from the 28 Precinct shows people interfering in an arrest by throwing water and objects at officers. The NYPD kept New Yorkers safe through the heatwave and last night’s outages. We won’t tolerate this kind of disrespect. NYPD is investigating. https://t.co/3Yg7f0eAs8
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) July 22, 2019
Shortly after both the mayor and the chief of police sounded off on the issue, the New York Police Benevolent Association (PBA) released a statement blaming city lawmakers like de Blasio for instituting anti-cop policies:
#BREAKING PBA Statement on “Water Bucket” Attacks on Police Officers pic.twitter.com/i8O2Ke59c5
— NYC PBA (@NYCPBA) July 22, 2019
“Our anti-cop lawmakers have gotten their wish: the NYPD is now frozen,” PBA President Patrick J. Lynch said.