Two New York Police Department vehicles plowed into demonstrators rallying against police brutality Saturday as the crowd pushed a barricade against one of them and pelted it with objects.
The incident occurred near Prospect Park in Brooklyn and was captured on at least two videos – one from the street and one from above – that were shared widely on social media. Several people were knocked to the ground, and it was unclear if anyone was hurt.
While some condemned the actions of the officers, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio defended the officers saying their safety was threatened by the crowd.
“Look, I’ve seen that video, and I’ve obviously heard about a number of other instances – it’s inappropriate for protesters to surround a police vehicle and threaten police officers,” de Blasio said at a news conference late Saturday.
“It’s clear that a different element has come into play here who are trying to hurt police officers and trying to damage their vehicles, and if a police officer is [in] that situation they have to get out that situation,” he said.