Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams on Wednesday joined representatives from fraternal police organizations in condemning incidents depicted in two videos taken over the weekend showing the dousing of New York Police Department (NYPD) officers with buckets of water.
Williams also spoke out against people using these incidents to blame and denigrate police reformers or to use what he described as “hyperbolized falsehoods to suggest that they are indicative of a larger ‘lawlessness.’”
“What I saw was shameful. What I saw was dangerous. There’s no way around that; it has to be called out,” said Williams at the press conference. “I’m deeply concerned, and thankful for the restraint which these officers showed under the circumstances.
“These acts are harmful not only to the officers targeted but also to the larger community and the conversation around better policing,” he added. “Officers are trained to show discipline, but that doesn’t mean they should be absurdly tested.
“It’s also unacceptable to use these incidents to try to deny or destroy steps of progress made in policing or to suggest ‘lawlessness,’” the public advocate continued. “We have a responsibility to do better, and as public advocate, it’s my responsibility to make that message clear. Those actions were unacceptable, and they put everyone in danger.”
Williams underscored the need for community and police to come together, condemn these actions, and continue to work toward better policing and community engagement.
Those who joined Williams during the press conference to condemn the actions included retired NYPD Chief, Gerald Nelson and NYPD Deputy Chief, Judith R. Harrison of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, as well as retired NYPD Lieutenant, Anthony Miranda and NYPD Sergeant, Angel Ramos of the National Latino Officers Association.
The two videos, which were taken this weekend and went viral on Monday, depict individuals dumping buckets of water onto officers in Harlem and in Brownsville.
In the Harlem incident, Williams said a bucket was also thrown at an officer as he made an unrelated arrest.
Two arrests were made in connection with these incidents on Wednesday morning.