The NYPD announced today that it will pursue legal action against demonstrators who injure any of its members, reports the New York Post.
Ed Mullins, president of the NYPD's Sergeant's Benevolent Association, stated that his group will sue any of the Occupy Wall Street protesters who cause harm to any one of its 5,000 members.
In light of the growing violence attendant to the 'Occupy' movements across the country, particularly as evidenced by the recent events in Oakland, I am compelled to place these so-called 'occupiers' on notice that physical assaults on police officers will not be tolerated, he said
Assault on a police officer is not only punishable as a felony in the State of New York, but will also be met with swift and certain legal action by the SBA, which will seek monetary damages against any individual who causes injury to a New York City Sergeant, Mullins added in the Post exclusive.
Since the start of the protests, over 20 cops have been injured in New York City, cites Mullins.
I am deeply concerned that protesters will be emboldened by the recent rash of violent acts against police officers in other cities. New York's police officers are working around the clock as the already overburdened economy in New York is being drained by 'occupiers' who intentionally and maliciously instigate needless and violent confrontations with the police, said Mullins.
In response, I have instructed the SBA's attorneys to pursue the harshest possible civil sanctions -- including monetary damages -- against any individual protester who causes injury to my members. Protesters are not immunized from civil liability merely because their victims are wearing the uniform of the New York City Police Department.
This announcement comes on the heels of the injury of protester Scott Olsen at the Occupy Oakland protests.
Olsen, a 24-year-old former U.S. Marine who served two tours of duty in Iraq, was struck in the head by a tear gas canister thrown by police at the demonstrations on Tues. Oct. 25, reports Reuters.
Police were trying to prevent protesters from reclaiming the square.
Thousands of people have taken to Twitter to support the OWS protesters, in the name of Scott Olsen.
Russell Simmons (@UncleRUSH), an avid activist for the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations in New York, tweeted before i go to sleep tonight, i will say a prayer for Scott Olsen and all those hurt by the police last night #OccupyOakland.
However, Simmons also took to his pop culture/news website, GlobalGrind, to write a plea for peaceful demonstrations from here on out.
I'm hearing reports from the field about throwing bottles and cans in Oakland. I understand the frustration - I over-stand it! But real change - the change that got blacks the right the vote, that freed South Africa, that ended Vietnam - they were all NON-VIOLENT, he wrote.
I saw today a young black man, the newly designated Acting Police Chief of Oakland, and he was SCARED. We need to bring these people on our side, not fight them. If they are ordered to fight us, we will not fight back.
Throwing cans and bottles can may make you feel OK, but it's not real change. It's a distraction. We don't NEED bottles. What we have that they didn't have during the 60's, we have a new way to organize, he added. We are connected via mobile phone, facebook, twitter, and platforms like GlobalGrind.com. We got the people!
Olsen has been an active member of several anti-war veterans groups. He decided to venture to Oakland to support the Occupy Oakland cause after learning of the protesters' difficulties in the city.
He is said to currently be in stable condition at Highland Hospital, according to the Guardian.
Tensions are running high on both sides of the fence, as police and protesters alike report injuries and maltreatment.
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan defended the police department saying, I only asked the chief to do one thing: to do it when it was the safest for both the police and the demonstrators.