Three police officers were injured in Brooklyn Wednesday night after what New York Police Department Commissioner Dermot Shea described as a “complete cowardly, despicable, unprovoked attack,” in which the suspect “casually” approached an officer and stabbed him in the neck. Two responding officers were then shot — one in the hand and one in the arm — when the suspect allegedly attempted to wrestle a gun from an officer. While the three officers are expected to recover, the suspect is reportedly in critical condition.
At a press conference Wednesday night, embattled New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio — whose handling of the riots has been strongly criticized by many, including fellow Democrat New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo — opened by announcing that all three officers involved are expected to recover.
“A number of the officers came to their aid,” said the mayor. “It’s another example of what it means every day for men and women of the NYPD to protect all of us, to protect our communities no matter what is happening, the bravery they show constantly. Thank God, in this very, very challenging situation …. our officers came through safely.”
The mayor then introduced Commissioner Shea to provide some details on the attack. Shea did not mince words.
“It appears to be a complete cowardly, despicable, unprovoked attack on a defenseless police officer,” said Commissioner Shea. The violence, said Shea, “has to stop.”
Before describing the incident, Shea made a point of highlighting two prior instances of attacks on officers caught on video: a rioter running over an officer with a vehicle and another attack “by a coward, from behind,” who “attempted to bash [an officer’s] skull in.” In those instances, he said, “our cops were arresting looters and other violent demonstrators.”
The most recent attack, Shea explained, occurred late Wednesday night in 70th precinct in Brooklyn, where officers were assigned to an “anti-looting” post, attempting to stop criminals from breaking into stores.
At around 11:45 p.m. on Church Avenue near Flatbush Avenue, the officers posted in the precinct were approached by a suspect who walked up “casually” but then suddenly pulled out a knife and stabbed an officer in the neck.
“Video surveillance shows the suspect walk up to the officers casually, take out a knife and stab one of the officers in the neck,” said Shea. “That officer was stabbed in the left side of his neck —thank God, missing an artery — and he’s recovering here in stable condition at the hospital.”
“Several cops responded to the scene and one pulled his firearm,” the New York Post reports. “The officer and the suspect then struggled for the weapon, which went off striking one officer in the hand and another in the arm.”
At that point, a sergeant arrived and fired on the suspect, who was taken into custody and listed in critical condition.
A photograph of what is reportedly the knife the attacker used to stab the officer was posted online by CBS New York‘s Dan Verello:
JUST IN: @NYPDnews releases photo of a suspect's knife recovered at a "chaotic" overnight scene in Flatbush… 1 officer stabbed, 2 officers and 1 suspect shot. @NYPDShea says officers expected to be okay. @JohnBDias will have the latest all morning from Brooklyn on @CBSNewYork pic.twitter.com/lsQFVs0J00
— Dan Verello (@DVerello) June 4, 2020
In his opening comments, de Blasio called for unity, saying we that “no matter how much is thrown at us, the coronavirus and everything else, we have to find a way to come together and move forward.”
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