• NYPD released a video which showed a cop pulling the mask of a protester to pepper spray him
  • The release came after Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a directive to make body-cam footages public
  • He said when people see such transparency, it will build their trust

NYPD officials released a pair of police videos taken from the George Floyd protests in Brooklyn. The video shows a cop pulling down the mask of a protester while he stood with his hands in the air, after which the police officer pepper-sprayed his face.

Troubling Encounter

Each of the videos, which are almost 15 minutes long, shows police officers making their way through the protesters just after 8 p.m. on May 30. Expletive-filled chants and insults directed toward the officers can be heard from the demonstrators. In what was labeled by NYPD officials as ‘troubling,’ the brief encounter can be viewed at the 7:30-mark in the video clip recorded from the body-camera of the now-suspended police officer.

The cop, whose name is yet to be released by authorities, can be heard saying, “Stay back. Stay back. Stay back. Go. Go. Go” as he makes his way through the thick crowd with his pepper-spray high in the air. It is not clear yet if the capsicum oleoresin spray he held was used on other protesters, although it appears the officer used it again moments later. The footage also shows the officer accidentally spraying himself.

video shows officer pulling mask of protester to pepper spray him
video shows officer pulling mask of protester to pepper spray him UnratedStudio - Pixabay

Release Of Recordings Policy

Near the end of the footage, the officer can be heard saying he cannot see and that he needed water. The video also shows another cop helping the officer flush his eyes with water. The recording’s release came after Mayor Bill de Blasio broadened the policy of New York City on the release of body-cam footages in high-profile incidents.

The new directive expanded the department’s current policy, which was issued in October of 2019. On Tuesday, the mayor announced the changes, saying, “When people see this kind of transparency, it will build trust, there is much more to come in the weeks ahead.”

The guidelines require the police to make public all recordings from department-involved shootings, whether or not an injury has resulted from such incident, and any time an officer deploys Taser, causing “great bodily harm” or death. “When one of these three criteria are met, it is crucial that the information comes out promptly and have faith it will come out objectively. That creates trust,” the mayor said.