The NYPD has announced that it is disbanding its anti-crime unit of plainclothes officers, as that particular force has been a source of increased tensions between police and citizens, amid the wave of protests against police brutality over the past few weeks. In a statement, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said, "This is a seismic shift in the culture of how the NYPD polices this great city."
"I would consider this in the realm of closing one of the last chapters of 'Stop, Question and Frisk.'" Shea added, per ABC 7, "I think it's time to more forward and change how we police in this city. We can do it with brains. We can do it with guile. We can move away from brute force." The move comes after multiple NYPD officers have had to be disciplined over actions taken against peaceful protesters. Most recently, an officer was suspended without pay for spraying mace at a group of protest bystanders on June 1.
New York City police commissioner Dermot Shea says the NYPD will be disbanding it’s plainclothes anti-crime unit effective immediately.
“This is 21st century policing.”— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) June 15, 2020
Footage of the incident was captured on video, with the female officer shown running past a group of people near Trump Tower, on 41 East 57th Street. It doesn't appear that the officer exchanges any conversation with the group, but she is seen showering them with pepper spray as she runs by. The incident is reportedly still under investigation. To date, one officer has been placed on modified duty, a precinct commander has been transferred, and two officers have been suspended.
"Trust is critical to effective policing," Shea said, referring to police misconduct during the protests. "Trust takes a long time to earn, and it is very easy to lose. We will continue to work relentlessly to earn and keep that trust, because without community partnership, we cannot effectively do our jobs."
New York City has been the site of many protests and demonstrations, that have arisen in the wake of the May 25th death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Floyd, a Black man, was killed when a White police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes during an arrest. His death was later ruled a homicide by the local medical examiner. Footage of Floyd's arrest went viral, and sparked the widespread Black Lives Matter protests that are still taking place daily.