A New York City police officer is under review after a viral video appeared to show him shoving a female protester on Friday night.
A spokesperson for the New York City Police Department (NYPD) told The Hill that the department was aware of the video and that the incident was under internal review.
During a Saturday press conference, New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioNYC firefighters union leader tells unvaccinated members to defy mandate Jumaane Williams makes run for New York governor official Judge says NYC public employee vaccine mandate can take effect MORE (D) called the clip "absolutely unacceptable."
Despite other protesters engaging in violent behavior, de Blasio said that this protester being "arbitrarily thrown to the ground does not reflect our values."
“The NYPD has to do better. We cannot see a video like that. There’s no reason for a video like that,” the mayor said. “It corrodes trust. ... There will be accountability.”
The mayor said there would be independent reviews of the video and any other questionable footage that emerges from the protest.
Jason Lemon, a senior reporter at Newsweek, recorded the video and posted it on Twitter. It has since gone viral, with more than 9.2 million views as of Saturday morning.
A group of police is seen walking down the center of the street. One officer is seen pushing the woman with two hands, throwing her back and causing her to land on the concrete.
He is then seen walking away as the woman remains on the ground.
NYPD officer just called a female protester a “stupid fucking bitch” and threw her to the ground pic.twitter.com/18YUHYmqQa— Jason Lemon (@JasonLemon) May 30, 2020
The encounter was also filmed by another spectator, Twitter user Whitney Hu, who said she went with the woman to the emergency room.
Update: Got her permission with a fuck yeah. The cop pushed her so hard at Barclays & she flung back. She is tiny. Now she’s in the ER after a serious seizure. I’m waiting for updates but have to wait outside because of COVID-19. Please keep my protest sister in your thoughts. pic.twitter.com/MqV0QJ0D8h— Whitney Hu 胡安行 (@whitney_hu) May 30, 2020
A woman identified as Dounya Zayer came forward on social media and said she was the woman seen being pushed in the video.
In clips posted from what appears to be a hospital bed, Zayer said she had a seizure after hitting her head and that she has been diagnosed with a concussion.
“In no way was I aggressive towards this police officer, and I did not even get in his physical space,” Zayer said. “He was walking in my direction, told me to move, and because I didn’t move out of his way in time, he threw me out of the way.”
Stop making excuses for the police. They are supposed to be protecting us. Not hurting us. pic.twitter.com/SoYtWMxIMh— Dounya Zayer (@zayer_dounya) May 30, 2020
Corey Johnson (D), the Speaker of the New York City Council, called for the officer to be charged with assault.
This officer needs to be charged with assault.— Corey Johnson (@CoreyinNYC) May 30, 2020
Hard to watch. Brutal and unacceptable. https://t.co/zL2MHcEwCI
Ritchie Torres, a Democrat running for Congress in New York’s 15th District, also called for the officer to “lose his badge.”
Demonstrators clashed with police on Friday outside Barclays Center in the New York City borough of Brooklyn over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, during an arrest in Minneapolis earlier this week.
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said that roughly 3,000 people were protesting at various locations and that more than 200 arrests were made.
One person was arrested for the attempted murder of four police officers after allegedly throwing a Molotov cocktail into a marked police car.