NYPD leader says officers bludgeoned two men in self-defense
NEW YORK — New York City's police commissioner on Friday praised officers who were recorded bludgeoning two people with batons, saying the officers were defending themselves after being attacked by a man who had a history of getting into fights with police and then filing lawsuits over the altercations.
“You can't punch a cop. You can't fight a cop. You can't resist arrest. You have to respect the police,” Commissioner James O'Neill said Friday on a radio program hosted by former “Saturday Night Live” star Joe Piscopo. “He's a serial resister. And when it's over, he sues the police department. And this is almost the way he makes his living.”
O'Neill said the officers involved remain the subject of an internal investigation. But he slammed the Manhattan District Attorney's office over its handling of the case, saying prosecutors were wrong not to charge one of the men involved in the brawl and wrong to let the other one go without requesting bail.
In tweets and on the radio program, O'Neill said that lenient approach sends an “entirely wrong message” to New Yorkers.
“It's not just about the two cops now. It's about all New York City cops, keeping them safe and it's about quite frankly it's about all New Yorkers, keeping them safe,” O'Neill said.