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Yesterday afternoon during the West Indian Day Parade, in the midst of various incidences of gun violence, there was another incident involving the NYPD. Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane D. Williams, along with Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s aide Kirsten John Foy, was handcuffed and briefly detained by officers after the two attempted to walk through a blocked area near the Brooklyn Museum. Though they had reportedly been given permission to use the sidewalk to reach a post-parade event, an argument with the police ensued, and Williams and Foy were forcibly detained (watch the video above), with Foy, in the blue shirt, at one point actually being tripped and knocked down by one of the cops.
All apparently over the use of a very important…sidewalk.
NYPD Chief Spokesman Paul Browne said, via the New York Times, that “A crowd formed and an unknown individual punched a police captain on the scene,” which apparently exacerbated the response from cops. Williams and Foy were then brought across the street where their identities were established, and were ultimately released without being arrested or charged with a crime.
De Blasio, who was called to the Union Temple where the two were being held, issued the following statement on his website yesterday:
“This afternoon, my Director of Community Affairs, Kirsten John Foy was arrested alongside Council Member Jumaane Williams while attempting to exit the parade to attend a gathering at the Brooklyn Museum. No charges were filed. I am very concerned that the officers escalated this situation needlessly, even as two public servants were trying to show identification. I am calling for an investigation to get to the bottom of any police misconduct that occurred.”
The NYPD is investigating the incident.