The number of NYPD officers injured in the line-of-duty has increased significantly since May 28, with at least 472 police officers across all ranks being stabbed, shot at, battered with rocks and bricks, hit by cars, and having Molotov cocktails thrown at them while responding to riots and protests.
According to NYPD department data, of the 472 officers injured, 319 required hospital treatment. Seven officers have been admitted to hospitals, including Lt. Richard Mack who was violently beaten on the Brooklyn Bridge while making an arrest, The New York Post reported.
“This behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” NYPD spokeswoman Sgt. Mary Frances O’Donnell told The New York Post.
Line-of-duty injuries so far in 2020 are up 47 percent from last year. Data through September 24 shows 7,528 injuries this year compared to 5,133 during the same period last year.
“The average person doesn’t hear about the daily assaults and injuries to police officers,” said founder of Blue Lives Matter NYC and NYPD Sgt. Joseph Imperatrice. “Officers are hurt every single day whether in regards to being assigned to routine patrol or a riot location.”
Protests and riots broke out in Soho on May 31 after the death of George Floyd while in custody of the Minneapolis Police Department. Dozens of alleged looters were arrested during the first few days of demonstrations, including a group of 12 who were stopped by NYPD officers outside of Nike Soho, multiple high-end boutiques, and a Bloomingdale’s department store.
Sgt. Imperatrice was among the officers on the scene and said demonstrators assaulted police with “air mail” that included half-filled water bottles, garbage, rocks, and bricks. According to Imperatrice, an inspector severely sprained his hand while tackling a suspect who was fleeing the scene of broken storefront windows.
Throughout the summer, numerous demonstrators were arrested, including a Catskill woman who is accused of throwing a crude explosive at an NYPD vehicle with four policemen inside.
Many officers attribute the spike in line-of-duty injuries to politicians who aren’t looking out for New York’s men and women in uniform.
“The chaos that politicians are encouraging on the streets is putting cops in the hospital,” said Patrick Lynch, the head of the Police Benevolent Association. “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 stop on scene. 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.”