NEW YORK — Text messages and Facebook posts went into overdrive Sunday in New York’s law enforcement community, with claims top leaders in the NYPD were either resigning or being asked to leave, with replacements ready to step in.
“This is not true,” tweeted Freddi Goldstein, press secretary to Mayor Bill de Blasio.
NYPD Deputy Commissioner Richard Esposito, over the phone, also said it wasn't true.
But we’re learning there are tensions behind the scenes about the specific fate of two police officers involved in confrontations with protesters in the last twelve days.
Both of the cops were suspended without pay on Friday.
One of them allegedly knocked down a female protester, Dounya Zayer, outside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in the early days of the George Floyd protests. Zayer said she suffered seizures, as a result.
Another cop was seen on video pulling down the mask of a male demonstrator and spraying the man’s face with pepper spray.
Multiple sources said there’s anger among the rank and file—and among some of the NYPD brass—about the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office considering criminal charges against the two officers.
When PIX11 called a spokesman for the Brooklyn DA’s office Sunday evening, we were told, “We’re investigating both of these cases. It’s not true both are going to be arrested imminently. It might happen in the future.”
The NYPD has dealt with a lot of turmoil in the last two weeks.
“This is all about pandering to anti-cop sentiment,” said a former NYPD Deputy Commissioner.
Multiple police officers have been under siege during the protests, trying to fend off looters, brick and bottle throwers and the burning of NYPD vehicles.
Officer Yayon Jean Pierre was stabbed in the neck last week while working an anti-looting post, and two other cops were shot in the hand. Several other officers have been hit by cars, one of them hurt seriously.
Sergeant’s Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins, said his phone was exploding with calls about behind-the-scenes clashes between the NYPD and City Hall.
“The losers in this are not going to be the cops,” Mullins said. “It’s going to be the public.”
Mullins said he didn’t believe the protests were continuing because of the NYPD.
“I think it’s about overthrowing the presidency,” he said.