Attorney General William Barr on Monday slammed suspects behind a string of water-dousing attacks on New York Police Department officers in a planned speech before the National Fraternal Order of Police conference in New Orleans.
“We were all nauseated by the spectacle of prancing punks pelting New York police officers with water and plastic buckets. Unfortunately, these were not isolated events,” said Barr. “From 2014 through 2017, there has been a 20 percent increase in assaults against police, up to about 60,000 per year.”
At least four incidents in which officers were hit with a water bucket took place in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Harlem amid July’s heatwave. One cop was hit in the head with an empty bucket while making an arrest for a separate matter.
In his remarks, Barr praised police for the work they do across the nation, lauding them for “fighting an unrelenting, never-ending fight against criminal predators in our society.
“To my mind, there is no more noble profession than serving as a police officer. You put your own life and well-being on the line to protect your communities,” the attorney general said.
“Your families spend anxious nights, so we can sleep in peace. You never know what your day may bring — what uncertainty, danger, or threat you might face. But you still get up, put on your uniform and badge, kiss your loved ones, and head out to face whatever risks might come your way,” he added.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has criticized Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio over the water-dousing attacks, calling his response “unacceptable.”
“There was an incident in New York City where police officers were doused with water and the police officers walked away and got back in the car. That is wholly unacceptable,” Cuomo told WAMC’s The Roundtable radio program earlier this month.
“Walking away was one of the most disturbing and embarrassing actions I’ve seen, I don’t blame those officers, I believe they were relatively new,” the governor added.
In response to the series of incidents, the NYPD released a memo explaining how cops should respond to future water-dousing attacks.