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NYPD Officer Pepper-Sprays Himself During Protest Intervention

Photo : AFP

On Saturday, May 11, a video went viral on social media capturing a dramatic moment during an anti-Israel protest on the Manhattan Bridge in New York City. The footage showed NYPD Assistant Chief James McCarthy accidentally pepper-spraying himself while attempting to intervene in the demonstration.

The protest, characterized by chants and chaos, caused significant disruptions to traffic flow as demonstrators marched across the bridge. Amid the commotion, McCarthy, along with other officers in riot gear, attempted to control the situation. However, as McCarthy reached for pepper spray to deploy against the demonstrators, he inadvertently sprayed himself in the face.

The video circulated widely on social media platforms, drawing attention to the intense and sometimes unpredictable nature of crowd control efforts during protests. Despite the accidental self-infliction, McCarthy continued his efforts to manage the situation, and other officers provided assistance by rinsing his face with water.

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In addition to the viral video, several other clips surfaced, providing different perspectives on the protest and police response. One video captured protesters marching with linked arms, while another showed police officers preparing for mass arrests as protesters approached the Manhattan side of the bridge.

Responding to the demonstration, NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Operations Kaz Daughtry emphasized the department's commitment to maintaining public safety and order. He stated that while the NYPD respects the right to freedom of speech and protest, it will not tolerate lawlessness. Daughtry highlighted the significant disruption caused by the protest, with over 100 demonstrators intentionally obstructing traffic on the Manhattan Bridge.

The NYPD confirmed to the New York Post that approximately 150 individuals were arrested during the demonstration on Saturday evening. The incident underscored the challenges faced by law enforcement in managing large-scale protests while balancing public safety and civil liberties.

The event prompted discussions about the appropriate use of crowd control tactics and the need for effective communication and de-escalation strategies during protests. It also raised questions about the potential risks and unintended consequences associated with the use of less-lethal weapons, such as pepper spray, in crowd control situations.

May 13, 2024 11:46 a.m. 4048

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