Only 4 NYPD Cops Have Been Disciplined So Far for Violence Against Protesters

Dozens of dozens of incidents were caught on video.


Nationwide protests following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police were met, in many cities, by even more police violence. In New York City, dozens of incidents in which police responded with excessive force were caught on camera. But so far, the department says only four NYPD cops have been disciplined.

The NYPD has had excessive force problems for years and years, but even folks familiar with cases of NYPD misconduct may still be surprised to learn that the department continues to twiddle its thumbs in the midst of an unprecedented protest movement.

On Twitter over the past several months, T. Greg Doucette did yeoman's work tracking and maintaining a thread of hundreds of violent responses by police directed toward protesters, media covering protesters, and people just in the vicinity of the protests. His thread currently ends at 775 tweets.

It looks like many people used these protests as an excuse to lash out and engage in violent and dangerous behavior. Some of them were rioters and looters breaking into stores and setting fires. And some others were men and women in uniform, carrying badges and guns, looking for a reason to hit people.

The New York Times has looked over video footage showing the NYPD responding to protesters (some of which they gathered from Doucette's feed) and found case after case of officers shoving, beating, and violently assaulting people who do not appear to be engaging in illegal behavior or, often, even resisting the police. They looked at 60 incidences of troubling behavior by NYPD officers in just the first 10 days of protests.

In one video, in less than a minute, the same police officer harshly shoves an unresisting protester to the pavement, pushes a cyclist, and then picks up and body slams a third protester who was standing and pointing at the gathered police officers as they were apparently breaking up a protest. In another, police beat a man on the ground after chasing him, and one even steps on the man's neck, notable given that Floyd died from having an officer kneel on his neck for several minutes.

The Times looked over video of police just randomly lashing out and shoving people as they walked by them. They found a video of police officers slamming a man to the ground after he had been arrested and they were leading him away. They found video footage of an NYPD officer grabbing a man and hurling him into a parked car, but not arresting him, and just leaving his body on the street.

And despite the constant refrain from police that these are "isolated incidents," the Times found behavior repeating itself and multiple examples of each questionably violent response from police.

The Times acknowledges that the videos lack full context, and we don't see what happened before or after these violent outbursts. But they also note that the city's policing guidelines order officers to use only the amount of reasonable force "necessary to gain control or custody of a subject."

An NYPD spokesperson told the Times that four officers have been disciplined for their conduct during the protests in late May and early June, and the department is investigating 51 other instances of possible protest-related police misconduct. The spokesperson declined to actually watch or respond to any specific videos. The Police Benevolent Union that represents most NYPD officers also declined to respond to the Times.

But experts were willing to look over the videos at the Times behest, and while they found some uses of force acceptable (to detain those who were trying to evade arrest), many other incidents raised concerns.

"A lot of this was 'street justice,'" Philip M. Stinson told the Times. Stinson is a criminologist at Bowling Green University and a former police officer who focuses on studying police use of forces. He saw many of these cases as "gratuitous acts of extrajudicial violence doled out by police officers on the street to teach somebody a lesson." He described some of the tactics he saw as "sloppy" and "downright criminal."

Weeks after the protests, people in New York City (and elsewhere) are still capturing and distributing disturbing footage of NYPD misconduct. Here's police body camera footage from late May that was publicly released Tuesday showing a transit officer getting shockingly violent when a homeless man mildly resisted getting tossed off a train for the crime of taking up more than one seat (even though the train car was mostly empty):

The transit officers then pepper-sprayed the man while he was simply standing against a wall in the train station terrified and begging them to stop. He required medical treatment after the encounter. More body camera footage can be viewed here.

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance's office responded to this encounter by filing felony assault charges not against the officer but against the homeless man, identified only as Joseph T. by New York media outlet The City.

Joseph was arrested for resisting arrest and "obstructing government administration."  Arresting officer Adonis Long claimed that while they were cuffing him on the platform, Joseph kicked Long's right hand. As a result, Long "sustained swelling and substantial pain to the knuckles of his right hand and was transported to the hospital." And so prosecutors subsequently added felony assault charges. The video, meanwhile, shows Long striking Joseph across the face twice before dragging him off the train. Maybe that's how he hurt his hand?

Even as his office defends overcharging a homeless man, Vance says he supports efforts to defund and scale back policing. Just last week he penned an op-ed in the New York Amsterdam News, writing in part:

In light of the recent killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Rayshard Brooks, it is unquestionable that substantial community reinvestment is essential to our era's antiracist criminal justice reckoning, and that grassroots organizations based in communities of color severely harmed by police violence and unnecessary incarceration should receive the bulk of funds divested from law enforcement.

Reinvesting taxpayer dollars into our historically underserved communities of color demonstrates that municipal leaders are listening and acting on the democratic principle of the "consent of the governed," which holds that the moral right to use state power is only justified to the extent that our constituents consent to it. So too do other actions taken by state and city governments, including banning police use of chokeholds, making police misconduct reports public, and ending qualified immunity. But these actions over the past weeks don't suggest our work, as government and law enforcement leaders, is anywhere close to healing centuries of trauma caused by systemic racism in our justice system.

It's unclear how terrorizing a homeless man on a train helps achieve these goals Vance says he supports. Going after the rotten cops captured on video seems to better fit the bill.

NEXT: Footage of Partial Blindings During Anti-Police Brutality Protests Contradicts Cops' Reports

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  1. https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/06/03/st-louis-releases-dozens-of-suspects-arrested-during-violent-protests/
    A St. Louis Police Department spokesperson said Wednesday that 36 people arrested during violent protests over the death of George Floyd have been released from prison.

    The charged individuals were arrested for alleged trespassing, burglary, property damage, stealing, and assault, the police spokesperson said. The suspects’ ages range from 17 years old to 36 years old.

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  2. How many rioters have been charged with their crimes? If the Breitbart link above is any indication, likely none. Fuck these people. They are not protesters, they are violent rioters. I have zero sympathy for anything the police did to them.

    1. I was gonna post a sarcastic comment about Shackford calling them protesters and not rioters, but you already beat me to it. Nice use of sarcasm, John.

      1. Thank you for letting us use your mouth.

      2. Nothing says Libertarian and NAP like rioting and looting the city. At last count 26 people have been murdered nationwide in these "protests". Reason has written exactly jack and shit about those people. Instead, it's major concern seems to be that some of the rioters may have been harmed by the police using non lethal weapons.

        It is good to know you are a typical dumb ass libertarian who thinks murder and destruction of private property is just no big deal and that the real concern is that the police not doing anything rash to try and stop it.

        If a mob were outside someone's store trying to burn it down, would you blame the person for using deadly force to protect it? I wouldn't. So, why do you give a shit that he police used less than lethal force here? It is the same situation. Someone owns the shit these idiots were trying to destroy.

        1. That's a big issue....but I agree with Tim Pool on this one.

          Why don't cops just...stop? Don't arrest a soul. Don't even go.

          The people have shown they don't WANT the perps punished. They will just get released and not charged.

          So let the wealthy NY'ers, or Portlanders, or Seattleites et al wake in the morning to a burned-out, bombed-out mess and realize that the entire problem is their fault.

          1. “The people have shown they don’t WANT the perps punished.”

            Well, no. The Democrats who run the cities where the riots take place know the rioters are their voters, and don’t want to do anything to upset them.

            1. But grand juries ALSO won't indict them. Portland is quite bad about that. So, if they don't want them punished or dealt with...then let them do whatever they want.

        2. They're also talking about indicting the McCluskeys, the STL couple who scared the tioters off their lawn by coming out with guns, after announcing they'd confiscated their weapons via search warrant.

          It's difficult not to see Reason's silence as an endorsement

          1. Is there anything Trump can do here…I mean if they were protecting themselves and this DA is going after their 2nd amendment protected guns for obviously political reasons would that not be a Civil Rights violation? Even if it did not stick, would be nice to pull a Roger Stone on her, swat team at 5 in the morning, Fox news catching it by chance. Plus the mug shot would be a cherry on top.

            1. It would be, but I'm not sure.

              Interesting how Soros all of a sudden decided in 2018 to pump $100 million into races to get local DAs elected...

              2 years later, it looks like a smart decision for him. They're necessary to pull off one of his patented "color revolutions" in the US.
              How... fortunate

            2. I'd like to see him just direct the ATF to grant them a SOT license and ship a few dealer sample machine guns to them.

              For "research and development" of course.

              1. Local gun stores have already offered them a free replacement AR-15.

                Turns out that the hand gun the lady was waving around was an inoperable / replica / display for courtroom demonstrations. Thank goodness.

                It was pretty crappy of the DA to announce to the world that they were going to effectively disarm this family, while they were the focus of so much hatred and anger from people who have shown themselves to be violent.

                Also, the DA and her office are already in a bunch of ongoing legal trouble / indictments against them & etc, so I'm not sure how federal charges would change things.

        3. Well 1 of these groups I am forced to pay for. Not that I think you can really hold them accountable right now you know with all of the NYPD trying to retire. But I also don't excuse the "non-lethal" measures I have seen as well. Just hope some good legislation can come out of this, that holds the police just as accountable as the citizenry they abuse.

    2. Did you even bother to read the article?

      1. I did. Some guy edited some recordings to make rioters look good and cops look bad. You fell for it.

    3. Oh the answer is zero. Rioters, even felony arsonists, are having their charges dropped by DAs all across the country from Seattle to Chicago to Portland.

      1. And that explains why Soros was pushing so hard to get DA’s elected. I had my questions about that, not an obvious choice but it is all coming clear now.

        1. Ah, you'd already beat me there!
          Well done

    4. "I have zero sympathy for anything the police did to them."

      We already know you are a big government-loving copsucker, you don't need to remind us on every article

    5. Same here, John. These people don’t give a damn about Floyd. They are just there using the Floyd protests to cause as much mayhem and destruction as possible. I have no sympathy for them - in fact, I would say that the police have used great restraint in their job to protect other people’s property. I don’t believe I could similarly restrain myself, if I were in their shoes.

  3. Black Man threatens to kill everyone on plane. BLM demands all black people be upgraded to first class.

    1. The guy ain't black.

      1. The “No true Black man “ argument?

  4. Are we keeping a tally of the violent "protesters" who have been released without charges?

    If you're going to keep one count, may as well keep the other for neutrality reasons.

    1. Antifa in Portland set up walls and barriers in the street outside the federal courthouse to claim their own autonomous zone, calling it “CLAT” for “Chinook Land Autonomous Territory.”


      1. Should be‘ Chinook Land Independent Territory “.

        1. Nah, rapists don't care about that part

    2. Alexander Sundine, 26, was arrested again at the antifa riot after being arrested two weeks prior. Both times he was quickly released.


    3. Antifa & BLM extremists attacked @PortlandPolice union building on 13–14 July. They threw rocks, bottles & bricks. Some fired metal ballbearings from slingshots after blinding police w/paint. A construction worker was hit. 5 were arrested.


    4. http://twitter.com/MrAndyNgo/status/1283052793792790533?s=19

      Graphic: Over the weekend, a group of antifa & far-left protesters tried to stop a patriotic rally outside the Olympia, Wash. city hall. Three far-left militants busted a man's head open using a baton.

      Shaelyn A. Reed, a convicted child rapist, was arrested for felony assault.

    5. Here is the shocking video showing Jacob Michael Gaines prepping an overhead hammer strike on federal law enforcement at the courthouse during the antifa riot.


    6. Over the weekend, masked antifa in Portland opened a black man’s car door during a violent protest. Watch how he responded to them:

      Now this video is hilarious on multiple levels

    7. .@tedwheeler, @JoAnnPDX, @ChloeEudalyPDX: How come you all had nothing to say when this man was chased, knocked out and had his teeth kicked out more recently? This is down the block from where you work.

    8. And this is all just selections from one dude's twitter covering just one week in one city

      Couldn't find the video of the shitheads in Columbus dragging the disabled guy out of his car and looting it

      The "peaceful protesters" create the conditions necessary for these attacks.
      They can all get shot in the face by rubber bullets, though lead bullets would make the world a better place by permanently removing them.
      And yes, I do mean to include the "peaceful protesters" there

      1. https://www.10tv.com/article/news/local/disabled-mans-car-damaged-in-columbus-protests/530-bdcb6ffe-7677-4380-ad35-21b7533905bd

        Get this:

        "Hurst explains that's when a group of good Samaritans pulled Hawkins from the car to safety."

        "Now Columbus police are asking for more help in identifying who is responsible for the damages, and stealing things out of Hawkin's car."

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  6. It's unclear how terrorizing a homeless man on a train helps achieve these goals Vance says he supports.

    Well, the homeless man on the train was white and the cop was black, so who gives a fuck? /sarc

  7. Hey guys, something verrrrrrry interesting happening in internet land today.

    Remember "it's a private company, they can do what they want"?

    Apparently not so fast in California.

    It's complicated, but apparently there's a law in California that speaks to a company's economic disruption between third parties (If you don't know where this is going, think of a youtuber or patreon creator that's banned and loses his or her income stream).

    Cases can be brought in arbitration court and according to the law, the company with cases against it must pay for the arbitration in advance. With tens, hundreds or thousands of cases potentially brought against a company (Patreon in this case), it could sink the company very quickly.

    Patreon is getting his with these cases and is now changing its terms of service. Patreon's own TOS declared that disputes had to be handled in arbitration. Now Patreon is panicking and changing its TOS to block cases from taking place in arbitration.

    Read the thread. It's very interesting.

    1. This is the best news possible. Fuck tech companies. Let them all burn.

      1. That it could be used to kill off PayPal makes me exceptionally happy.

      2. Don't forget to throw the computer you used to type that comment into the fire as well.

        1. Only a retard would think it's hypocrisy to use an adversary's tools against them.

          1. To be fair, I thought burning the whole system down was enlightened policy.

        2. There's that attitude that makes eunuch a eunuch

        3. What do Intel, Asus, and Nvidia have to do with anything?

          1. Nvidia graphic cards are complicit in depicting problematic characters in video games.

      3. But if you burn all these Big Tech companies, how will they demonstrate their fascism if they can't censor speech they deem politically incorrect?
        You need to think these ideas through before posting them.
        Otherwise people might think you sane.

    2. Someone posted that yesterday night. Was looking for a good article last night with more details then a twitter thread. And any news on this beyond Monday's thread. When is the judge suppose to rule?

      Cause I was happy to see someone take a court case based on contract law instead of stupid Prager or Gabbard suing on 1st A grounds.

      1. I've been talking about the contractual dispute angle on this issue for two years now. I'm very interested to see where this leads.

  8. I hate both the cops and BLM so I say let them fight.

  9. This entire twitter feed is a response to this article


    1. I like the Asian guy who was accosted because the peaceful protesters thought he was Andy Ngo. These antifa twinks remind me of the jihadis that were stopping randos on the street because they thought they were all Salman Rushdie.

    2. Damn, I should've kept scrolling.
      Would've saved a few minutes of time and effort

  10. DeBlasio talks the talk, but clearly is not walking the walk.

  11. Law enforcement unions are largely in control the nominating process in New York City. The city council members are more concerned about pleasing the law enforcement unions for that reason than they are about pleasing the voters--because the voters are so stupid, they will dependably vote for Democrats no matter who controls the nominating process or what the Democrat controlled city council does to shield the law enforcement unions they depend on for their power from accountability.

    The other aspect of this is that the media narrative regarding hostility to the police is widely oversold. I posted a link yesterday about states where the number of people seeking to buy guns for the first time has soared, and New York State is one of the places where the FBI is processing background checks at twice the usual rate. Those New Yorkers aren't lining up to buy guns because they're afraid of the police. They're buying guns for the first time like hotcakes because they're afraid of what's going to happen when you make the police "accountable" for maintaining order.

    1. The 'defund the police' narrative is cracking quickly.

      Black Leaders Call on NYPD to Bring Back Anti-Crime Unit as Shootings Spike

      Leaders in the black community are calling on the New York Police Department to bring back the plainclothes Anti-Crime Unit that was eliminated last month as shootings and murders spike across the city.

      About 600 undercover officers from the unit were set to be transferred to other assignments including detective work and policing neighborhoods, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said a month ago. The anti-crime unit, which was responsible for getting guns off the streets, had been criticized as stoking distrust in law enforcement in minority communities.

      From a narrative standpoint, this is major. MAJOR. The anti-crime units were targeted by civil libertarians as disproportionately affecting minority communities. Now those same communities are calling for their reinstatement.

      1. Defund the police has been sent down the memory hole. Democrats are now claiming they never supported that. That is just a right wing lie that they did.

        I am not kidding. These people are shameless

        1. Sounds like backpedaling to me.

  12. "It looks like many people used these protests as an excuse to lash out and engage in violent and dangerous behavior."

    Looks like?

  13. The rap on libertarians is usually that they are too pure and not realistic. The attitude of the authors on this website frequently reflect that. Ending qualified immunity may be ideologically correct, but it's as exactly stupid as defunding police. Who will be a cop? Certainly not anyone with an ounce of intelligence.

  14. A pro NYPD march was attacked by "protesters" today

    1. "Violence isn't violence!"

      1. Right, only speech and thoughts are ACTUALLY violent.

  15. To all those doing "whataboutism" between the protesters and the police, remember one thing: the police are an arm of the government. Violence against cops is vigorously prosecuted and well understood to be a crime, and there are almost do defenses against the charges in court. Police violence against people is very rarely prosecuted and he police have many possible defenses.

    But they key point is that police are the government and the government abusing its people should be a major concern for all.

    1. Now shush. The mini-fascists are having a moment of bonding here

    2. Agreed.

  16. That's four too many. This is one of those times I want cops cracking down on violent protestors. They are not peaceful and are just cover for the real asshole left wing violent douchebags.

  17. In light of the recent killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Rayshard Brooks,

    I still find it appalling that supposed advocates of criminal justice reform are dead set on torpedoing the movement by assuming all these cases deserve to be lumped together. It's honestly pissing me off that people do this shit because it ruins an extremely rare issue that can bridge the political spectrum.

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  20. This is why the LP is a useless pile of shit

  21. I look forward to the Reason story on the cops that were physically assaulted by violent protesters at an "Anti-Violence" protest march in NYC yesterday. Just kidding - Reason doesn't care when that happens.

  22. Only 4 NYPD Cops Have Been Disciplined So Far for Violence Against Protesters

    Here's the thing though - 'protester' has been broadened so much that it now includes extremely violent people.

    So when you say 'violence against protesters' I can't be certain you're actually talking about genuine protestors and not rioters.

    Its a similar mechanic as with 'sex offender' now - when told someone is a sex offender I have to ask, 'a real one or did he just get caught pissing in an alley?'

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  25. George Floyd did NOT die from the pig cop kneeling on his neck.

    GEORGE FLOYD DIED FROM AN OVERDOSE OF FENTANYL. A dose so high that 3% of it would've killed anyone not accustomed to opiate use. I am the first one to put the blame on the pigs. (Gee, I wonder how I could've gotten THAT idea?) In this case, however, I got to give props to the cops that tried to save Floyd's worthless ass. I used to think that "excited delirium" was some bullshit made up by the King's Men to justify and explain why they had to kill someone for failure to submit, but after talking with an ER physician, it turns out that it actually is a thing.

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