In late May 2020, during the #GeorgeFloyd protests, two #NYPD officers, Andrey Samusev and Daniel Alvarez, drove their SUVs into a crowd of protesters in #Brooklyn. The incident, captured on video, showed the vehicles entering the crowd as objects were thrown at them. This event occurred amidst widespread protests against police brutality in New York City.
Initially, both officers were exonerated by an internal NYPD probe. However, the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) brought charges against them, leading to an administrative trial in December 2022. The CCRB sought termination for Samusev and a one-year probation for Alvarez.
NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban, following the administrative trial judge's recommendation, found Samusev not guilty and reversed the guilty verdict against Alvarez. The judge's recommendations were not publicly disclosed, but Caban cited the chaotic scene and Alvarez's inexperience in justifying his decision. He blamed the protesters for creating a hazardous situation and obstructing emergency vehicles.
The CCRB's interim chair, Arva Rice, expressed disappointment, arguing for the CCRB to have final disciplinary authority. The incident highlights ongoing debates over police conduct and accountability, particularly in situations of public protest and unrest.
During the trial, Alvarez testified about feeling under attack and unprepared, while Samusev claimed he flinched due to an object hitting the vehicle, causing it to lurch forward. The judge found Samusev's actions likely accidental but raised questions about Alvarez's judgment. Despite this, both officers were ultimately cleared of wrongdoing by Commissioner Caban, continuing a trend of light or no discipline from the NYPD in serious misconduct cases brought by the CCRB.
The lack of disciplinary action against the NYPD officers who drove SUVs into protesters during the George Floyd protests is a stark reminder of the urgent need for #abolitionnow.
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Link: The City NYC