A viral video from Friday night's Black Lives Matter demonstration in New York City shows an NYPD officer shoving a female protester to the ground while allegedly yelling obscenities in her face. The clip shows a young woman hurled several feet before hitting her head on the curb while the officer walks away. One Twitter user has come forward to identify herself as the woman in the video.
The video circulating on Twitter begins with the woman being shoved while bystanders yell, "Whoa! Hey!" The officer visibly pushes her, but his voice does not come through. However, Newsweek reporter Jason Lemon claimed that he called her a "stupid f—ing b—" in the moment. The woman appeared to hit her head on the curb and quickly rolled into a fetal position gripping her arms in apparent pain. A Twitter user named Dounya Zayer later came forward to say that she was the one in the video.
This was me, and I want to make one thing clear to all the people that are commenting lies below this video. I did NOT spit in this officers face. I was wearing a face mask. He told me to get out of the street and then immediately threw me out of the way. https://t.co/349TZijtD8— Dounya Zayer (@zayer_dounya) May 30, 2020
According to Zayer, the attack was virtually unprovoked. She claimed that the officer told her to get out of the street and then shoved her without warning. The clip seems to show a column of uniformed police and reporters in the road, but no other bystanders were shoved from the looks of the video.
Many responders called for the officer to face charges for assault, while others defended his actions as a form of self-defense. Some even claimed they could identify the officer by appearance, though he wore a face mask in the short video.
"Charges need to be filed against him and the senior officer that walked right by you. This is brutality and completely unlawful. I'm outraged by this cowardly thugs behavior," one Twitter user wrote, tagging the accounts of various NYPD officials. Another responded: "There are at least a handful of cops who watched it happen and who are saying nothing... If good cops don't police themselves they ain't good cops."
New York was just one of the major cities to see a massive demonstration on Friday night in solidarity with the protesters in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Black Lives Matter movement came out in full force to demand justice for the murder of 46-year-old George Floyd, who was killed by the Minneapolis police on Monday, May 25.
So far, one officer has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. According to a report by The Star Tribune, Derek Chauvin was arrested on Friday and is now being held in a different county due to the unrest in Minneapolis. Many protesters want to see the other three officers on the scene charged as well, and they want a commitment to systemic change from city officials.