Clashes Continue Between Police and Demonstrators Amid Protests Over George Floyd’s Death

A third day of protests over the death of George Floyd at the hands of police led to more skirmishes between demonstrators and the NYPD.

Sources say 345 people were arrested from the protests on Saturday. 47 police vehicles were damaged and 33 NYPD officers were injured.

At least one police car was set on fire in Flatbush, and police were seen pushing protesters as well. 

In one instance, video appeared to capture police cars driving into protesters.

In Manhattan, just south of Union Square, NY1 crews spotted a car on fire and a Santander Bank with windows broken.

Mayor Bill de Blasio blamed the violence at the protests on a “small number” of people with a “warped ideology.”

Speaking to NY1 Saturday night, de Blasio said a “small number” of people at these protests are “clearly trying to incide violence against the police, and create property damage and vandalism.”

“The folks who are here to do violence and are purposeful about just trying to do violence, just trying to harm police officers, we’re going to arrest them and we’re going to deal with them and there’s going to be consequences, that’s the bottom line. And we have to be really clear about, they do not represent this city,” the mayor said.

Protesters were also in Harlem and in Union Square earlier in the afternoon, where interactions with police were generally calmer.

Protesters were also seen in the afternoon marching along Second Avenue on the Upper East Side, and along streets on Manhattan’s West Side.

A protest was also spotted in Washington Square Park later in the afternoon.

Friday night’s protests also turned violent in Brooklyn. A police van was set on fire on the residential streets of Fort Greene, and police were seen on video making violent arrests outside of Barclays Center. More than 200 arrests were made in protests across the city Friday.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea condemned violent protesters who hit the street, as well as NYPD officers who many observers say used harsh methods.

“We saw acts of violence that have nothing to do with the tradition of peaceful democratic protest that has pervaded the history of New York City,” de Blasio said. “New York City honors the right to protest. The NYPD has protected the right to protest for generations, and done it well.”

“We are fully committed to protect the right to publicly assemble, to protest, to free speech. This is at the heart of everything we believe in,” Shea said. “But at the same time, we will have zero tolerance for individuals looking to cause harm to anyone.”

Shea says the protest near Barclays Center was intended to be violent, with ads on social media calling for “mayhem.” Multiple officers were injured by protesters throwing bricks and other items.

The mayor said there were incidents caught on video of a young woman being shoved to the ground by police. He promised independent and internal investigations of police actions.

Shea said two other videos of police wrongdoing are also being investigated by internal affairs. Both he and the mayor reiterated their support for peaceful protests.