What to Know
- NYC activist and protest organizer Derrick Ingram turned himself in to police Saturday morning following an hours-long standoff with the NYPD
- Police allege the protester assaulted an officer at a June protest when he held a megaphone and yelled into the cop's ear
- The NYPD drew criticism for shutting down a city block and deploying dozens of officers, some in riot gear, to arrest Ingram; activists say it was all done without an arrest warrant
A protest organizer and frequent leader of marches in support of Black Lives Matter turned himself in to the New York City Police Department Saturday morning after an hours-long standoff with officers one day earlier, multiple reports confirm.
His actions come after the NYPD spent an estimated five hours outside of the protester's Hell's Kitchen apartment on Friday in an attempt to arrest the man accused of assaulting an officer at a June protest.
Derrick Ingram marched with a hundred protesters to the Midtown North Precinct on West 56th Street Saturday morning where he turned himself into police. A police spokesperson confirmed that Ingram was arrested for second-degree assault from a June 14 incident where he allegedly used a megaphone to yell into the ear of an officer. The spokesperson said he caused the officer "pain and protracted impairment of hearing."
Friday's arrest attempt flooded social media by late morning after Ingram started live streaming the incident on Instagram. Ingram, a leader of Warriors in the Garden, a group of organizers advocating for systemic change and police accountability, began documenting the situation online after officers approached his apartment door to make the arrest.
Videos recorded by Ingram and other activists that gathered outside his apartment in support documented several dozen officers positioned on the Manhattan street, some wearing full riot gear, according to the Gothamist. Ingram reportedly broadcasted from the apartment until the afternoon when officers left the scene.
"The officers that showed up outside the home of a 28-year-old unarmed black organizer never produced a warrant on the scene," the group's statement read in part. "This militarized police response endangers the safety of residents in Hell's Kitchen and across [New York City.]"
The police department's actions Friday were heavily criticized on social media by fellow activists and a number of elected officials -- many were left asking the department why such force was used to arrest a protester without a warrant.
State Senator Brad Hoylman, who represents the island of Manhattan, called on Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Council to investigate the Hell's Kitchen incident. Several members of the council, including Speaker Corey Johnson, echoed Hoylman's sentiments. Council Member Carlina Rivera called Friday's incident a "show of force by the police," while noting it came 10 days after the highly criticized arrest of Nikki Stone -- the 18-year-old protester grabbed by plainclothes officers and forced her into an unmarked van.
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Speaking to the protesters gathered at Bryant Park Saturday morning, Ingram described his experiences after the five-hour standoff with police Friday.
"I'm highly traumatized from everything from the drones, to the dogs, to the lies that have been told by the NYPD," he said. "I think we should focus our efforts on getting Commissioner Shea out of office."
Ingram was released from police custody by Saturday afternoon with a reduced charge. The Manhattan district attorney's office confirmed his second-degree assault charge was lowered to third-degree, dropping the offense from a felony to a misdemeanor.
That decision drew quick criticism from the Police Benevolence Association President Pat Lynch. He said, in part, "Is there any doubt who is in charge in this city now? The criminal mob is dictating their terms to the NYPD brass and district attorneys, who are tripping over themselves to comply. Police officers want to know: What are we still doing out here?"
Neither the district attorney's office, the mayor's office nor the NYPD confirmed the existence of a warrant prior to Ingram's arrest attempt by police on Friday. De Blasio's office did say the mayor supported NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea's decision to pull back the officers Friday afternoon.
"Commissioner Shea made the right decision to call off the operation," de Blasio said. "Assaulting an officer is unacceptable and will always lead to consequences, but arrests must be made properly."