Watch CBS News

Mayor Calls NYPD Cruiser And Gun Videos 'Unacceptable,' Praises Majority Of Police For Keeping Peace

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Mayor Bill de Blasio praised the majority of protesters and police for keeping demonstrations peaceful Sunday, but reiterated those who take things too far will be punished.

He said community leaders and members stepped up to set a different tone.

"I want to commend and thank all of the community leaders, all of the community members who have said, 'it is up to the community to determine how this will go and to ensure that change is made the right way,'" de Blasio said during Monday's briefing. "Thank you, and it's crucial that good work continues."

Once night fell, some people started looting businesses and setting fires in SoHo. The NYPD said more than 400 people were arrested overnight.

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea called it "hijacking a cause." Officials have said "anarchists" from other states are to blame for some of the violence and destruction.

"What a good day that turned bad, unfortunately. And I think it leaves a black mark on everything that's trying to be accomplished," said Shea.

WATCH: Mayor De Blasio, Police Commissioner Shea Address Sunday's Protests 

De Blasio said while most police officers also showed restraint – some even taking a knee in solidarity – there were specific issues that need to be addressed.

He clarified his previous comments about two NYPD SUVs that were seen driving into a crowd in Brooklyn.

"There is no situation where a police vehicle should drive into a crowd of protesters or New Yorkers of any kind. It is dangerous, it is unacceptable," he said. "There was an extremely abhorrent situation and there were extenuating circumstances, I believe because of incidents that had happened earlier, and I understand why the danger that there could have been a much bigger conflict there was looming. But it is still not acceptable for our officers to ever drive into a crowd."

The mayor said the confrontation is under investigation, along with at least three others.

He mentioned one video showing an officer point a gun at a chaotic crowd in front of the Strand bookstore.

"It is not the place of an officer to pull a gun in the middle of a crowd, knowing that there are peaceful protesters in that crowd. That is unacceptable, that is dangerous," he said. "I want you to note in that video how a superior officer came over and immediately moved that officer away from that crowd.

"That officer should have his gun and badge taken away today," he added "There will be an investigation immediately to determine the larger consequences."

De Blasio said there has to be "one standard" for all officers and faster discipline process. He called on the state to repeal the 50-A law that shields police records, and on the unions to "be part of the change and the improvement."

The mayor said he will be speaking with the governor about the possibility of imposing a curfew in the city.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.