NYC police cars plow through crowd, mayor calls for investigation

JON HAWORTH , AARON KATERSKY and EMILY SHAPIRO

New York City's mayor is calling for an investigation after police SUVs overnight plowed through a Brooklyn crowd where protesters were holding a metal barricade.

Video shows one police SUV being blocked by a group of protesters behind a barricade as various items and objects can be seen striking the vehicle. Another NYPD SUV then pulls up alongside the first vehicle before both of them can be seen accelerating into the crowd of people knocking many of them over as the screaming and yelling from the crowd begins to intensify.

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New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, "NYPD officers just drove an SUV into a crowd of human beings. They could've killed them ... NO ONE gets to slam an SUV through a crowd of human beings."

There was no loss of life and no major injuries, officials said.

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The investigation will be led by the city's corporation counsel and Department of Investigation commissioner.

This came as New Yorkers gathered in the streets to protest the death of George Floyd, a black man who died on Memorial Day after he was pinned down by a white Minnesota police officer.

The officer, Derek Chauvin, has since been fired and charged with third-degree murder.

PHOTO: A police officer sprays protesters during a march against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Brooklyn, New York, May 30, 2020. (Jeenah Moon/Reuters)
PHOTO: NYPD officers try to keep control on the streets as they clash with protesters during a march against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in the Brooklyn, New York, May 30, 2020. (Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)

New York City's protests turned violent late Saturday, with people throwing projectiles and torching police cars.

At least 345 people were arrested in New York City overnight, according to police sources. At least 33 officers were injured, including some seriously, police sources said, and dozens of police cars were damaged or destroyed.

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Sunday differentiated the peaceful protesters from "people who came to do violence in a systematic and organized fashion."

He denounced "an explicit agenda of violence" among some "anarchist movement" protesters and, overall, he said the NYPD demonstrated "tremendous restraint."

"There were many things done right by the NYPD," de Blasio said, adding, "there were also mistakes that must be investigated."

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