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NYPD chief kneels with protesters to de-escalate protest

NYPD chief kneels with protesters to de-escalate protest
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New York Police Department (NYPD) Chief of Department Terence Monahan took a knee with protesters against the death of George Floyd in Manhattan Monday evening after a request from the demonstrators. 

Video of the interaction shared on social media shows Monahan telling protesters that NYPD officers agree that the situation in Minnesota that led to Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody was wrong. 

“There is not a police officer over here that thinks Minnesota was justified, we stand with you on that,” Monahan said, speaking to protesters from a microphone. 

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He then called for an end to violence, blaming it on outsiders coming into New York. 

“But this is our city, our city. Do not let people who are not from this city have you come here and screw up your city,” Monahan said. 

After he spoke, protesters cleared space and Monahan took a knee with demonstrators, held hands and lifted them into the air. 

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Monahan, the highest-ranking uniformed member of the NYPD, is then seen hugging a demonstrator. 

Asked what the hug meant to him, Monahan said, “It means that the people who live in New York want New York to end the violence get the intruders that are not from the city the hell out of here and give us back our city.”  

Officers in New York City as well as elsewhere in the nation have made similar gestures to show solidarity by taking a knee with protesters that are demonstrating against police brutality in response to Floyd’s recent death. 

At times, however, the clashes between protesters and law enforcement have also turned violent. 

In New York City, an 11 p.m. curfew was imposed Monday night in an effort to curb the violence and looting that has followed peaceful days of protesting over the weekend. Other cities imposed earlier curfews and have also called in the National Guard. 

Floyd died last week after an officer knelt on his neck for several minutes as he pleaded for air, saying that he could not breathe. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was fired and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Three other officers at the scene were fired but have not been charged.