The Brooklyn district attorney is considering filing criminal charges as early as Tuesday against a New York City police officer for violently shoving a woman to the ground during protests related to the death of George Floyd, WNBC New York reported Monday.
The police officer, identified by elected officials as Vincent D'Andraia from the 73rd precinct, was seen on a video of the May 29 incident using his hands to toss the woman, Dounya Zayer, several feet toward a curb on a Brooklyn street. The cop then walked off, with a police supervisor directly behind him.
"I am in pain. My head hurts. I haven't slept in three days. And I cannot stop throwing up," Zayer said last week.
"But I am trying everything in my power to hold myself together for the people who are depending on me to speak on the situation."
Zayer said she was treated for a seizure and a concussion at a hospital after the cop shoved her.
"He did this in front of his lieutenant and multiple other officers who watched me hit the ground. One even looked back to make sure I was still on the ground, and they continued walking," Zayer said last week. "Not one officer tried to help me, and not one officer tried to stop the officer who assaulted me."
D'Andraia already has been suspended by the NYPD for the incident, one of a number that have led to complaints that the city's police officers have used excessive force in dealing with protestors for the past two weeks.
The Police Benevolent Association, the union that represents NYPD officers, called the expected charges against D'Andraia the result of "mob-rule" justice, according to Jonathan Dienst, the NBC reporter who tweeted news of the case Monday.
"Once again, Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD brass are sacrificing cops to save their own skin," PBA President Patrick J. Lynch said. "They created the failed strategy for managing these demonstrations. They sent police officers out to do the job with no support and no clear plan. They should be the ones facing this mob-rule justice. We will say it again: New York City police officers have been abandoned by our leadership. We are utterly alone in our efforts to protect our city."
Another cop was also suspended last week for a subsequent incident, in which he was seen on video pulling down the face mask of a man, and then spraying pepper spray into that civilian's face.
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said Friday that the police department's Internal Affairs Bureau had finished investigating both incidents.The incidents had been referred to the Department Advocate for disciplinary action, Shea said.
"While the investigations have to play out, based on the severity of what we saw, it is appropriate and necessary to assure the public that there will be transparency during the disciplinary process," Shea said on Friday.
Shea also said that the incidents "are disturbing and run counter to the principles of NYPD training, as well as our mission of public safety," and that the officers' conduct is in contrast to the "restrained work of the thousands of other officers who have worked tirelessly to protect those who are peacefully protesting and keep all New Yorkers safe."
"Over the past week, as I've said on multiple occasions, we have seen several troubling incidents involving behavior from members of the department that the NYPD is actively investigating," Shea said.
New York and other cities around the country have seen days of protests related to the death of Floyd, a black man who died after a white cop in Minneapolis knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes during an arrest on suspicion of using a counterfeit bill.
That now-fired Minneapolis officer, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with second- and third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. He was ordered held in lieu of bail of up to $1.25 million on Monday.
Three other former cops who assisted in Floyd's arrest have been charged with aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The trio are each being held in lieu of bail of up to $1 million.