NEW YORK CITY — The NYPD has made policy changes following a controversial standoff between police and a Black Lives Matter protest organizer at his Manhattan home last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Tuesday.
The mayor said the decision on how and when to effectuate the arrest was made at a much lower level than what should have been allowed.
“It was down to the level of sergeant or lieutenant,” the mayor said. “That’s the kind of thing that needs to be addressed structurally, and I know the commissioner has put additional measures in place to make sure that kind of thing gets looked at by higher level leadership.”
The NYPD has come under fire for its handling of the incident, which took place Friday at Ingram’s apartment on West 45th Street in Hell’s Kitchen.
Ingram is a co-founder of Warriors in the Garden, a non-violent activist group fighting against police brutality, according to their website.
He was wanted on a charge of assaulting a police officer for allegedly shouting into a cop’s ear with a bullhorn in June. The officer needed to be taken to a hospital for treatment, according to the NYPD.
The arrest operation involved a massive police response with officers in tactical gear, K-9 units and a helicopter that hovered overhead. Police, however, did not have a warrant for Ingram’s arrest.
Igram refused to open the door and speak with police. Instead, he streamed the standoff on Instagram Live while he spoke with his legal representation about how to handle the situation.
A crowd of Black Lives Matter supporters gathered outside and could be heard shouting words of encouragement in the background of Ingram’s video while police banged on the door.
The standoff lasted about six hours before police left the scene without making an arrest.
@WarriorsITG has released a statement on today’s 5-hour, warrant-free NYPD standoff outside member & activist Derrick Ingram’s apartment — an incident that involved dozens of police units (including K9s and ‘riot police’).— NYC Protest Updates 2020 (@protest_nyc) August 7, 2020
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea had called off the operation after learning the details of what was going on, according to de Blasio, who commended the decision.
“This was not the right way to do things and the commissioner feels that just as strongly as I do,” de Blasio said on Tuesday.
The mayor said the police commissioner is not involved in each specific decision to pursue someone with an open warrant.
“When he found out what was going on, he called off the operation,” de Blasio added.
Ingram turned himself over to police custody on Saturday. He was arraigned on reduced charges of third-degree assault and was released on his own recognizance Saturday evening, according to the NYPD and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
De Blasio said anyone who assaults a police officer must be held accountable but he also acknowledged that how and when an arrest is made is crucial for public trust in police.
“I think we have to make clear that … this city, this police department is never going to interfere with people’s right to protest,” de Blasio said. “We’ve got to show people that that is sacrosanct, and these kinds of things often send the wrong message. And we have to be smart enough to not let that happen.”
This story comprises reporting from CNN Newsource.