New York City’s police chief reported that more than 60 of the department’s officers have suffered injuries serious enough to require hospitalization over more than a week of protests and rioting, according to the New York Daily News.
Terence Monahan said even more officers received minor injuries, mostly from projectiles including glass bottles and rocks being thrown at them. Protests have spread across the country in response to outrage over the treatment of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
“It got ugly quick”
Some demonstrators have turned violent and destructive, according to New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea. He said the worst night was Sunday, which led to about 400 arrests for people suspected of looting and setting fires.
“The majority of the protesters were peaceful, making their point,” he said, according to the Daily News. “When it got dark, it got ugly and it got ugly quick.”
Shea said that many of those arrested were expected to be released after posting bail, meaning they could rejoin the ongoing protests.
In a statement on Twitter, the New York Police Benevolent Association complained about the number of police injuries, suggesting that elected officials were not doing enough to quell the violence.
“Since these riots have started in NYC, 60+ of our fellow brothers and sisters of the NYPD have been hospitalized with serious injuries,” the group stated. “Why aren’t our elected officials out there with us, instead of hiding behind their computers when the sun goes down?”
A nationwide trend
Allegations of excessive force by some police officers are also under investigation, including an incident caught on video in which two NYPD vehicles can be seen driving into a crowd of demonstrators. According to Shea, the officers involved were being ambushed by the nearby protesters.
Cops in other cities around the U.S. have also been injured when protests turned violent. At least 50 Secret Service agents were reportedly injured when rioters took to the streets near the White House in Washington, D.C., as PoliceOne.com noted.
In Philadelphia, reports show at least 15 officers were injured, including some with burns linked to Molotov cocktails some rioters threw toward authorities.
Some Americans might question President Donald Trump’s tough stance on those causing chaos in the streets. As police officers, peaceful protesters, and innocent bystanders continue to get hurt, however, it is clear that decisive action is needed.