Advertisement

George Floyd protests: Video shows NYPD vehicles driving into crowd

George Floyd death: Video appears to show NYPD vehicles drive into protesters
WARNING: Video contains violent content that some viewers may find disturbing. WATCH: George Floyd death: Video appears to show NYPD vehicles drive into protesters

Two New York City police vehicles appear to drive into protesters gathered over the death of George Floyd, according to at least two videos posted on Twitter Saturday night.

One 25-second video, filmed looking down on the street from above, shows dozens of protesters gathered on a street, some of them behind an orange fence that separates the crowd from one NYPD vehicle.

Protesters throw a few items at the vehicle, including an orange traffic cone.

READ MORE: George Floyd death: Colin Kaepernick offers to pay protesters’ legal fees

A second NYPD vehicle drives up to the right of the first vehicle, sirens on, pushing some protesters back as it drives forward.

The first NYPD vehicle then lurches forward into the orange fence, forcing people on the other side of the fence to scatter. The video shows at least one person falling down. It is unclear if anyone was injured.

Story continues below advertisement

The clip was viewed more than 1.5 million times within hours of being posted. Global News has emailed the NYPD for more information and will update this story if a response is received.

Riots break out in U.S. cities amid George Floyd protests
Riots break out in U.S. cities amid George Floyd protests

A follow-up video by the Twitter user shows an NYPD vehicle parked in the middle of what appears to be the same street. A person climbs onto the hood, as others appear to hit the vehicle.

A second video filmed from across the street appears to show a different vantage point of the same incident, showing the NYPD vehicle suddenly move forward into the crowd of protesters.

Protesters angry over Floyd’s death in Minneapolis were on the streets of New York for a third straight day. Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, was killed during an arrest on Monday.

Story continues below advertisement

Footage showed a white police officer pinning his knee into Floyd’s neck. Derek Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter on Friday.

Floyd’s death sparked four days of protests in Minnesota and cities across the U.S.

READ MORE: Officer charged with murder in George Floyd’s death had knee on his neck for nearly 9 minutes

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio pleaded for calm during a Saturday afternoon press conference, as a protest in Brooklyn on Friday night had left people bloodied and vehicles burned.

According to The Associated Press, demonstrations with several thousand protesters at Union Square and outside Brooklyn’s Prospect Park appeared mostly peaceful. Later in the day, protesters in Brooklyn confronted police, who shoved some of the demonstrators and used an irritating chemical spray.

De Blasio expressed solidarity with demonstrators upset over police brutality, but promised an independent review of the Friday night confrontation in which both protesters and police officers engaged in violence.

George Floyd protesters rally outside White House
George Floyd protesters rally outside White House

The mayor said he was upset by videos of the clashes in which “protesters were handled very violently” by police and by reports that a state senator and member of the state assembly were among the people sprayed with irritating chemicals by officers.

Story continues below advertisement

On Saturday morning, New York’s police watchdog — the Civilian Complaint Review Board, or CCRB — posted instructions on how to file a complaint and mentioned it has received complaints stemming from Friday night’s protest.

“As a reminder: If you see footage of an incident here or elsewhere on social media, you can file a complaint as a witness,” the CCRB tweeted.

One Twitter user alerted the CCRB to the video of the NYPD vehicles, saying: “This one’s for you.”

The CCRB replied, saying they can start a probe based on complaints received by people who see incidents on social media.

Story continues below advertisement

The NYPD is facing scrutiny over an incident during Friday night’s protests that was also captured on video.

Multiple videos posted on Friday night appear to show an officer shoving a woman hard enough that she falls head-first into the sidewalk.

The woman, Dounya Zayer of New York, recounted her ordeal in a series of videos posted Saturday morning, saying she was rushed to the emergency room after she suffered a seizure.

READ MORE: ‘Unacceptable’: Video shows NYPD officer shoving George Floyd protester to the ground

She is recovering from a concussion in hospital, she said.

Story continues below advertisement

“I want to make one thing clear about this situation. In no way was I aggressive towards this police officer and I did not even get in his physical space,” Zayer said.

President Donald Trump appeared to tweet in support of law enforcement in New York late Saturday night.

“Let New York’s Finest be New York’s Finest. There is nobody better, but they must be allowed to do their job!” he said.

Mayor de Blasio addressed the video of the NYPD officers driving their vehicles into a crowd of protesters at a late night press conference, calling it a “tense situation.”

Story continues below advertisement

But he said he doesn’t blame the officers.

“The folks who were converging on that police car did the wrong thing to begin with,” he said.

“I wish the officers had found a different approach.”

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez blasted de Blasio’s comments as “unacceptable.”

“Running SUVs in crowds of people should never, ever be normalized,” she tweeted.

Story continues below advertisement

— With files by The Associated Press, Global News reporter Emerald Bensadoun