NYC mayor will review acts of protesters, police

U.S. & World

Police officers protect themselves with shields as protesters throw debris during a rally Friday, May 29, 2020, in the Brooklyn borough of New York, at the Barclays Center over the death of George Floyd, a black man who was in police custody in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

NEW YORK — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says protesters and police officers will be held accountable for acts of violence at a demonstration in Brooklyn that left people bloodied and vehicles burned.

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea says more than 200 people were arrested and multiple officers were injured.

One demonstrator was charged with attempted murder for allegedly tossing a homemade firebomb at a vehicle occupied by several officers, who escaped without harm.

The protest, one of many around the country over the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minnesota, started peacefully in the late afternoon in Manhattan. Problems flared after several thousand people faced off with officers on the streets around a sports arena.

Speaking Saturday, de Blasio, a Democrat, expressed solidarity with demonstrators upset about police brutality, but says there will be a full review of what went wrong.

He says he was upset by videos of the confrontations “where protesters were handled very violently” by police and by reports that at least two elected officials were among the people sprayed with irritating chemicals by officers at the scene.

“That’s unacceptable, and we need to understand exactly why that happened,” the mayor said.

But he added some protesters had come “with an agenda of violence and incitement, and they meant to harm police officers, and they did harm police officers.”

Many people in the crowd threw bottles at police. A group set fire to a police van and battered several other police cruisers with clubs.

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