NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The New York City police commissioner said Wednesday criminals are using Molotov cocktails, bricks, and cement-filled water bottles to attack officers during the peaceful demonstrations over George Floyd's death.
"There is an orchestrated attack specifically on members of law enforcement across the country," Commissioner Dermot Shea said during the mayor's daily briefing. "We are seeing it, unfortunately, alive and well in New York City."
The commissioner tweeted a video showing two bins filled with bricks. He said there have been incidents in Brooklyn and Queens, and that bricks were stolen from a construction site in Manhattan.
"Pre-staged bricks are being placed and then transported to 'peaceful protests' -- which are peaceful protests -- but then used by that criminal group within to sew fear," Shea said.
City Councilman Mark Treyger later said he visited the site in the video and called the bricks "construction debris."
"This is in my district. I went to the site. This construction debris was left near a construction site on Ave X in Gravesend. Could be evidence of a developer breaking law since phase 1 hasn't begun, but there was no evidence of organized looting on X last night that I'm aware of," he tweeted.
"Folks need to really stop pretending that unsecured construction debris on a NYC sidewalk is a new phenomenon. It is a frequent issue many electeds complain about and a lot of construction sites continued work during pandemic, both authorized and unauthorized. Let facts play out," Treyger added.
Shea also said there have been multiple incidents of Molotov cocktails thrown at police buildings and vehicles, as well as the cement-filled bottles.
"Those seemingly innocuous plastic bottles that you see thrown during protests -- well it's only a water bottle? What the media has not necessarily reported is that those water bottles are often filled with cement," he said. "So we have vehicles that it would appear as if our doors are hit with a Louisville Slugger swung by Mark McGwire, leaving dents in the car doors by a simple water bottle filled with cement."
The commissioner said the criminals are using vehicles -- in one case a stolen U-Haul -- to transport people and stolen property, and to scout locations.
"We're seeing the same pattern in a number of cities -- a mix of people in that city and outside. To some extent organized, to some extent trained or sharing protocols -- negative, violent protocols -- for how to create mayhem, how to create chaos, how to get it on video, how to attack police officers," Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday. "We're seeing such a clear pattern, anyone who doesn't see that isn't looking very hard."
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