Several police unions in New York City criticized the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) decision to retreat from the home of a suspect accused of assaulting a police officer, after an hours-long standoff.
On Aug. 7, dozens of NYPD officers, some wearing tactical gear, showed up at the Hell’s Kitchen home of protest organizer Derrick Ingram, 28, who is accused of assaulting an officer by yelling in her ear with a megaphone at a recent demonstration.
As the officers didn’t have a warrant to enter his home, it created a stalemate that lasted for about six hours. Police left without arresting him, on the orders of Police Commissioner Dermot Shea after protesters flooded the street of the operation.
Ingram, who is the co-founder of Warriors in The Garden, live-streamed the incident, which drew the attention of fellow protesters.
Several of the city’s police unions said the decision to withdraw endangered the lives of the police officers present, and they demanded an explanation for the action.
“By walking away from arresting a man who was wanted for previously assaulting a cop and backing down to an angry mob, the lives of detectives and their fellow cops were endangered and their valuable time was wasted,” Paul DiGiacomo, the president of the New York City Detectives’ Endowment Association, said in a statement on Twitter.
“Cops wonder why they even bother and the New Yorkers they proudly want to serve are losing their city. The Mayor and leaders at the NYPD owe NY’s finest an explanation. NO LEADERSHIP!”
Pat Lynch, the president of the Police Benevolent Association of New York City, shared a similar sentiment, also demanding an explanation for the action.
“The NYPD’s top brass better start talking: Who really issued the order to retreat?” Lynch said in a statement on Twitter. “Who put police officers in the dangerous position of backing down in the face of an angry mob?
“They have set an unbelievably damaging precedent. Police officers and all New Yorkers deserve to know who signed off on the NYPD’s literal surrender to criminals.”
In a statement, Warriors in the Garden, a group formed in the wake of George Floyd’s death, characterized the police operation as an “attempt to silence our movement.” The group says they’ve been advocating for police accountability and systematic policy change in response to tensions between law enforcement and certain minority groups.
“This militarized police response endangers the safety of residents in Hell’s Kitchen and across NYC. We demand to know: where are the NYC council and NYC Leadership?” the group said in a statement on Twitter.
Ingram turned himself in on Aug. 8 at the Midtown North Precinct, according to posts on the group’s Twitter page. According to a complaint, he was charged with second-degree assault and obstructing governmental administration in the second degree, which was later reduced to third-degree assault at arraignment, according to a reporter with the Gothamist.
He was released without bail.