A pair of NYPD vehicles lurched through a crowd of New Yorkers that swarmed them amid the nationwide demonstrations over the death of Minnesotan George Floyd at the hands of police.
The terrifying footage, that garnered millions of views, starts with a Ford SUV facing multiple protesters who had installed a barricade blocking passage through a street in New York. The demonstrators are seen pelting things at the car and hitting it with their hands.
With lights flashing and sirens turned on, the police car briefly waits for another vehicle to arrive. Once it approaches the crowd, both cruisers accelerate, smashing the makeshift barrier and running over people.
Panic breaks out as protesters run in different directions.
Police later justified the aggressive move, saying the officer driving hit the gas after spotting what they claimed was a flaming bag on top of the vehicle. The incident took place in Brooklyn, according to NBC New York.
The explosive video raised the ire of those online, as well as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) who demanded that NYPD officers involved be suspended and brought to justice.
Running SUVs in crowds of people should never, ever be normalized. No matter who does it, no matter why.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 31, 2020
Meanwhile, police cars were set alight and vandalized elsewhere across New York, while demonstrations against police brutality effectively shut down lanes heading towards Brooklyn on the Brooklyn Bridge.
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