Surveillance video captured from outside New York City Hall shows protesters get a small supply of bats before rioters clashed with police on Brooklyn Bridge on Wednesday.
In the video a car pulls up next to City Hall, a man pulls out six bats from the trunk. New York City Police Department believes the bats were to be used to confront a “unity” rally that was taking place over the Brooklyn Bridge.
Attendees of the rally were clergy, law enforcement, and community activists. There is no evidence that the actual bats delivered to City Hall captured on the video were used in the Brooklyn Bridge brawl with police. However, police did recover one bat after the bloody clash.
A cane was also used, with one activist using it to beat police over the head during the scrum.
Four police officers were injured including Chief of Department Terence Monahan – the highest-ranking NYPD uniformed officer.
The New York Post reported:
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.
“They said they did it peacefully. How do you do it peacefully when you have somebody swinging a cane?” Herbert said.
The NYPD said 37 people were arrested, but details weren’t immediately available.
Meanwhile, de Blasio offered an update on his so-far ineffective plan to stem the city’s surge in shootings — without including any NYPD officials in his briefing for at least the third time in recent days.
Later in the day, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a police reform bill that prohibits officers from using chokeholds and making it a crime for officers to use any form of control that restricts a person’s ability to breathe such as sitting, kneeling or standing on someone’s chest or back.