More than 470 New York City police officers have been injured in the line of duty due to anti-police protests since May of this year, according to data through September 24 from the department and the New York Post.
Black Lives Matter protests, sparked across the nation after the death of George Floyd, sent thousands of people flooding the streets of major American cities, including one of the largest, New York City.
Officials from the department have stated that officers have been on the receiving end of Molotov cocktails, shot at, stabbed, hit with rocks and bricks, and hit by vehicles.
Of the 472 who reported injuries, 319 of those needed medical attention from a hospital. Seven of those who were injured were admitted into a hospital, such as Lt. Richard Mack, who was severely beaten as he made an arrest on the Brooklyn Bridge in July.
“This behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” NYPD spokeswoman Sgt. Mary Frances O’Donnell said in a statement to the New York Post.
So far this year, a total of 7,528 NYPD line-of-duty injuries have been reported, up 47 percent from last year, which had 5,133 injuries.
“The average person doesn’t hear about the daily assaults and injuries to police officers,” said NYPD Sgt. Joseph Imperatrice, the founder of Blue Lives Matter NYC. “Officers are hurt every single day whether in regards to being assigned to routine patrol or a riot location.”
Describing a certain instance involving looters, Imperatrice said protesters threw “air mail” at cops. The items thrown at cops included drink bottles, rocks, garbage of sorts, and pieces of brick. Imperatrice also stated that an inspector on the scene sprained his hand while he was “tackling a subject running away from the scene of a location where they had just broken storefront windows.”
In June, two Brooklyn attorneys were charged with throwing a molotov cocktail at a crowded NYPD vehicle as riots were taking place.
Patrick Lynch, the head of the Police Benevolent Association, has taken offense to city officials who are “encouraging” the violence and not supporting the police.
“The chaos that politicians are encouraging on the streets is putting cops in the hospital,” Lynch said. “It is not just the nearly 500 cops who have been hit with bricks and bottles or otherwise injured during supposedly ‘peaceful’ protests.”
“Hundreds more are being injured because criminals are emboldened to fight cops the moment we step on the scene,” Lynch added. “They know our hands are tied. Every New Yorker needs to ask their elected officials how cops can protect them when we can barely protect ourselves.”