(CBS News) — Two videos showing New York City police officers being doused with water in two separate incidents went viral this week, sparking outrage in the city. In one video taken in Harlem, officers are splashed with water then hit with empty buckets; in another, two drenched officers walk away from a situation in Brooklyn. The officers didn’t respond to the dousing in either situation.
Now, some NYPD officials are saying the officers in the videos should’ve acted tougher, while union leaders are angered that the officers’ actions are being questioned.
“Any cop who thinks that is alright, that they can walk away from something like that, maybe should reconsider whether or not this is a profession for them,” said NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan.
NYPD leadership is standing by Monahan’s comments, according to CBS New York. The NYPD put out a memo to officers saying that the suspects in both incidents should have been identified and arrested — and at a minimum, a supervisor should have been called in.
So far, no arrests have been made in either incident. The police involved in the Harlem incident were responding to a call about disorderly conduct. One person was arrested for disorderly conduct that day, but that individual did not throw water on police.
The NYPD released photos Tuesday evening of three individuals wanted for questioning in connection to the Harlem incident.
During an appearance on Fox News, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani blamed current Mayor Bill de Blasio for the officers’ response, or lack thereof. “That would never happen in a million years when I was mayor of New York City,” he said.
“Actually, it wouldn’t happen if we didn’t have a progressive, retrogressive, completely lazy mayor in New York City who is absolutely destroying the quality of life in this city,” Giuliani added. During his tenure as mayor between 1994 and 2001, Giuliani was known for his “zero tolerance” law enforcement style.
De Blasio responded to Giuliani’s comments on Twitter, writing in part: “The truth is crime has never been lower in New York City and that’s because we’re bridging the divide between police and communities, a divide Rudy Giuliani helped create.”
Patrick Lynch, president of New York City’s Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, called on City Hall and state officials in Albany “to create meaningful penalties for anyone who harasses or interferes with a police officer in the course of his or her official duties.”
“At a minimum, there should be a felony charge for assaulting a police officer by throwing or spraying water or any other substance, and a misdemeanor charge for the attempt to do so,” Lynch said, according to CBS New York. “It’s time for lawmakers to take a stand against disorder, on behalf of their constituents and the cops who protect them.”
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