Community activists who organized a “unity rally” in New York Wednesday that ended when anti-police protesters ambushed officers in a shocking, violent attack on the Brooklyn Bridge say they’re concerned outside agitators planned to hijack the protest. The New York Police Department is seeking information on a group that appears to have dropped off a box of baseball bats for disrupters to use.
The NYPD is offering a $2500 reward for information leading to the arrest of a man who attacked and injured police officers and kicked off an all-out brawl, during the Wednesday march. The NYPD released a surveillance video late Wednesday showing the man running from the scene of the incident.
🚨WANTED🚨 for ASSAULT ON A POLICE OFFICER on the Brooklyn Bridge. #Manhattan @NYPD5pct on 7/15/20 @ 10:10 AM 💰Reward up to $2500👓Seen him? Know who he is?☎️Call 1-800-577-TIPS or DM us!📞Calls are CONFIDENTIAL! pic.twitter.com/NAE6iElmsJ
— NYPD Crime Stoppers (@NYPDTips) July 16, 2020
“The footage shows the man, wearing a maroon shirt, khaki pants and a red bandana around his neck, holding the stick in his right hand as he climbs a fence on the bridge and runs from the area,” Fox News reported Thursday. “Shortly after 10 a.m. on Wednesday, the man allegedly swung the wooden object at a group of high-ranking NYPD members, including Chief of Department Terence Monahan, while they were making an arrest. The assault was caught on video, which was later posted to the NYPD’s Twitter account.”
Around 40 people were eventually arrested in the ensuing melee.
But calls for help now go beyond just finding the perpetrator who left one of New York’s top cops bloodied. Community activists want to know who decided to interrupt a “unity rally” between community members and police officials, and the NYPD wants to know who may have dropped off a cache of weapons for anti-cop demonstrators to use when they interrupted the march.
“An organizer of the march across the bridge, Tony Herbert, said the group — which included a contingent from the Sergeants Benevolent Association — was heading from Manhattan to Brooklyn when anti-cop activists ‘jumped off the walk onto the roadway’ around 11 a.m,” per the New York Post.
Those anti-cop protesters were armed, apparently by an outside group, according to surveillance footage.
‘Surveillance video from outside City Hall appears to show protesters receiving a small shipment of bats before anti-cops activists clashed with officers on the Brooklyn Bridge Wednesday morning,” the New York Post also reported Thursday. “The delivery was made by a car parked on the street near City Hall, with one man seen retrieving six bats from the trunk, according to the footage provided by sources.”
“Police sources” told the Post that those bats were then used to “confront a ‘unity’ rally proceeding over the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan. “It’s unclear if the City Hall protesters used the bats in the wild Brooklyn Bridge brawl between opposing protesters. But at least one was recovered after the dust settled, police sources said.”
Law enforcement officials across the country — and even federal law enforcement officials — have been concerned that outside “anti-fascist” groups are coordinating unrest in many major cities including NYC, and the Department of Justice is actively investigating the influence of loosely affiliated “Antifa” groups, particularly whether they are organizing and arming anti-police demonstrators.
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