As protesters in New York City demonstrate against the killing of George Floyd, police in the city have resorted to heavy-handed tactics to try to restore order.
They’re dragging people out one by one. It looks like a mosh pit in there. To be clear this was a peaceful protest… https://t.co/eJgF8zpceN— Jake Offenhartz (@Jake Offenhartz)1591316326.0
They’re arresting legal observers. (Courtesy @CSMuncyPhoto) https://t.co/o6iSXoUeK9— Jake Offenhartz (@Jake Offenhartz)1591317373.0
On Thursday, The New York Times editorial board laid out the harsh reality of the situation — and called on New York leaders to do more to protect the rights and safety of the demonstrators, saying, "This is not what serving and protecting should look like."
"New York's mayor, Bill de Blasio, is responsible for the city’s failure to protect the safety of its residents," wrote the board. "As evidence of police abuse has mounted, he has averted his eyes, insisting Thursday that the Police Department uses as 'light a touch as possible.'"
"Many police officers are performing with grace under difficult conditions; some have been injured in the line of duty. And it cannot be easy for men and women sworn to protect the public to hear themselves accused by demonstrators as threats to society," wrote the board. "But Mr. de Blasio appears unwilling to confront the reality that the department is failing to meet the demands of this moment. Officers have been allowed to behave in a manner that disgraces their mission to protect and serve, and violates the public trust ... It is abhorrent to instead respond to protests about police violence by beating protesters."
"The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, also has shied away from the problem, insisting on Thursday that the police were not bludgeoning peaceful citizens 'for no reason,'" wrote the board. "'That’s not a fact,' he said. 'They don’t do that.' If they did, he added, 'it’s wrong.' Open your eyes, Mr. Cuomo."
"What pressing responsibilities have so occupied these two officials that they do not have the time to make sure the safety of New Yorkers is protected and the rights of New Yorkers are respected?" asked the board. "How is it possible that after so many reports of police misconduct, they still can’t be bothered to supervise the police?"
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