New York, NY – New York Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Dermot Shea described 24 rioters who were arrested in lower Manhattan on Monday night as “spoiled brats” and “knuckleheads.”
Commissioner Shea described a chaotic scene that led to the arrests during an interview on Tuesday morning.
“Again, chasing knuckleheads around last night,” the police commissioner’s rant began. “Breaking windows, property damage, graffiti, lighting fires. I mean, that is the last thing that we as New Yorkers need right now.”
“And that’s last night in New York City – 24 more arrests – at a time when we have diminished resources and we have a violent uptick with the courts and everything else going on,” the frustrated police official continued.
“We don’t need officers pulled away for these uh, sometimes I don’t know what you call them, I’m not calling them ‘peaceful protesters.’ Maybe spoiled brats, at this point,” Commissioner Shea added.
NYPD men & women remain committed to the safety & well-being of ALL New Yorkers, in ALL NYC neighborhoods.
We will get through this by working TOGETHER — #OneNewYork.
— Commissioner Shea (@NYPDShea) October 6, 2020
Protests erupted into riots in the city at about 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 5 as demonstrators marched from Fulton Street towards Chambers and Center Streets to protest the recent officer-involved shooting of Jonathan Price by a Texas police officer, the New York Post reported.
Police started making arrests after protesters attempted to prevent NYPD’s Technical Assistance Response Unit from filming the demonstrations that were blocking city streets.
Two arrests were made at that point, and then later in the night, the group marched north and broke windows at the Bank of America on Canal Street, and smashed windows of retails stores, spray-painted graffiti on buildings, set garbage fires, and continued to impede traffic, according to the New York Post.
Police said the graffiti included “BLM,” various anarchist symbols, and “Jonathan Price Was Here.”
No arrests were made in connection with the vandalism, the New York Post reported.
Police ordered the rioters to disperse and at about 12:45 a.m. on Oct. 4, and then they began arresting people who ignored their orders.
Nineteen rioters were arrested or issued summonses for obstruction, unlawful assembly, disorderly conduct, and other related charges, the New York Post reported.
Police sources said one man was arrested and charged with petit larceny after he allegedly stole a police radio.
People protest in New York City tonight over the police killing of #JonathanPrice He was allegedly fatally shot by an officer whilst trying to break up a fight at a gas station in Wolfe County #texas #blm #blacklivesmatter #nyc #newyork #nycprotest pic.twitter.com/J4oG9UwciW
— Adam Gray (@agrayphoto) October 6, 2020
Had enough of #12 murdering #sisters and #brothers join the riot for #JonathanPrice tonite #downtown #Manhattan #nyc #allcopsarebastards #georgefloydrebellion #blacklivesmatter #BreonnaTaylor #abolitionists and #anarchists wanted ♥ ✊ pic.twitter.com/DcMVacW5iX
— Thom Kennon (@tkennon) October 5, 2020
More protests are planned in New York City as the investigation into the Price shooting in Texas continues.
Price’s family have claimed he intervened in a domestic dispute between another couple at the gas station and was shot by police who arrived to break up that fight.
The bodycam video and footage from security cameras at the gas station have not yet been released to the public, but the charging documents detailed what could be seen on Officer Lucas’s bodycam video.
Texas Rangers filed a complaint on Oct. 5 charging Officer Lucas with Price’s murder that said the entire incident had been captured on bodycam, KDFW reported.
The officer’s bodycam video is described in great detail in the complaint and said that Price appeared to be grabbing the end of Officer Lucas’s Taser when he was shot.
The complaint said the dispatcher told Officer Lucas that he was responding to a call for “a possible fight in progress” at the Kwik Chek the night of the shooting.
According to the complaint, Price greeted Officer Lucas in a friendly manner initially and extended his hand to shake.
He apologized for broken glass on the ground and told Officer Lucas that someone had tried “to wrap me up,” according to the charging documents.
The officer told investigators that he thought Price was intoxicated and tried to detain him.
The charging documents said “Price stated, ‘I can’t be detained,’” KDFW reported.
“Officer Lucas continued to attempt to detain Price by grabbing Price’s arms and using verbal commands, which were both unsuccessful,” the affidavit read. “Officer Lucas produced a taser and informed Price to comply or the taser would be applied. Price failed to comply and began to walk away. Officer Lucas deployed the taser which was not fully effective. While being tased, Price continued to walk toward Officer Lucas.”
“Price appeared to reach out and grab the end of Officer Lucas’ taser,” the complaint continued to describe the contents of the officer’s bodycam video. “Officer Lucas discharged his firearm four times striking Price in the upper torso.”
Price was pronounced dead at Hunt County Regional Hospital, according to the affidavit filed by a Texas Rangers’ investigator.
The complaint also said the charges against the officer had been based on video and physical evidence, as well as eyewitness testimony, that showed Officer Lucas knowingly and intentionally caused Price’s death, KDFW reported.
But lawyers for the rookie 22-year-old Wolfe City officer said in a statement that “Officer Lucas only discharged his weapon in accordance with Texas law when he was confronted with an aggressive assailant who was attempting to take his Taser.”
“After Mr. Price refused repeated instructions and physically resisted, Officer Lucas deployed his Taser and continued to give Mr. Price instructions,” attorney Robert Rogers, who is representing the officer, said. “Mr. Price resisted the effects of the Taser and attempted to take it away from Officer Lucas.”
Rogers is the same attorney who defended former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger when she was convicted of the murder of Botham Jean in October of 2019.
The Texas Rangers have headed up the investigation into the officer-involved shooting of Price and said they determined Officer Lucas’s actions were not “objectionably reasonable.”
“The preliminary investigation indicates that the actions of Officer Lucas were not objectively reasonable.” pic.twitter.com/Zz7sHkJqrl
— Alex Rozier (@RozierReports) October 6, 2020
Investigators said Price resisted “in a non-threatening posture” and was walking away when Officer Lucas Tased him, according to KDFW.
On Monday, Officer Lucas was arrested and booked into the Hunt County Jail and then transferred to the Rockwall County Jail because he had previously worked in Hunt County’s.
He was released hours later on a $1 million bond.