A New York City Police Department union known for its controversial attacks on Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted personally identifying information about his daughter on Sunday night, including a residential address, apartment number, and her New York State ID number.
The tweet by the Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA), which in February claimed that members of the NYPD were “declaring war” against De Blasio, attacked the mayor’s daughter, Chiara de Blasio, for being arrested during an “unlawful assembly” on Saturday night.
Multiple news outlets reported that NYPD arrested De Blasio, the younger, during the fifth night of nationwide protests over the police-killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man whose alleged murder at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers sparked protests and violent clashes with authorities in dozens of major cities.
Inexplicable surge by police into crowd. I’m watching from 20 feet away. pic.twitter.com/DsMYKP5c8T
— John C. Liu (@LiuNewYork) June 1, 2020
The SBA, run by union boss Ed Mullins, Mayor De Blasio’s fiercest critic, included a photo of a computer screen which appeared to be his 25-year-old daughter’s arrest report. The report included her date of birth, NYS ID number, and various biographical information, such as height, weight, and citizenship status. It also included an apartment number and home address, which appeared to be Gracie Mansion, the mayor’s residence (though the zip code did not appear correct.)
Twitter’s policies expressly forbid users from posting personal information, including identity documents, including government-issued IDs. Posting home addresses “or other identifying information related to locations that are considered private” is also forbidden.
The SBA’s tweet remained up for more than an hour before eventually being taken down after a several users (including this reporter) flagged the tweet for abuse.
Twitter has yet to respond to a request for comment.
Althougth his duties relate almost entirely to the operations of one of New York City’s most highly visible police unions, Mullins, a former NYPD sergeant of Brooklyn’s 67th Precinct, continues to receive a taxpayer-funded salary of $US133,524 ($200,246), according to the Gothamist.
Mullins’ views on policing and his frequent attacks on the mayor’s office are widely viewed as controversial. He has a history of defending the stop-and-frisk program under former Mayor Mike Bloomberg, a racial-profiling operation that civil rights leaders hold as chiefly responsible for dramatically worsening the relationship between minority communities and the NYPD.
Under stop-and-frisk, Blacks and Latinos were disproportionately targeted more than 5 million times by the NYPD between 2002 and 2013, when U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled the practice unconstitutional. Mullins has called the practice “productive” and “an effective policy.”
The SBA’s latest attack on De Blasio and his daughter came day after the mayor defended the NYPD’s aggressive and often violent tactics while facing off against protesters in Brooklyn. Video on social media showed two NYPD vehicles ploughing into a crowd of demonstrators who were throwing traffic cones and other objects, knocking some to the ground.
Video shows NYPD vehicle running in to protesters – most of whom were behind a barricade blocking the police SUV. Objects can be seen hitting the police vehicle before the driver hits the gas.
— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) May 31, 2020
De Blasio’s description of the incident did not match footage of it circulating online. While he claimed it was “inappropriate for protesters to surround a police vehicle and threaten police officers,” video clearly shows the police vehicles were not surrounded. One of the vehicles was in forward motion nearly the entire time with no one standing behind it. Protesters were only occasionally to the rear of the other vehicle.
De Blasio attempted to walk back some of his statement on Sunday, saying he did not like what he saw “one bit.”
The protests over George Floyd’s death have gone for six days, spreading further and further. Some 40 cities are now holding daily protests, including in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where Floyd was killed. Incidents of arson and looting have been commonplace after dark, prompted curfews and National Guard units to be deployed in multiple cities.
Need y’all to see this. pic.twitter.com/MkidMswKlr
— isaac | BLM (@GrandDaDSac) May 31, 2020
Footage captured during the day, however, has shown dozens of incidents of police officers appearing to break law, in some cases violently shoving demonstrators for no reason, or attacking them as they retreat with punches, kicks, clubs, pellet guns, tear gas, and concussion grenades. Members of the news media appear to be prime targets, with countless journalists and news crews reporting they’ve been attacked and shot with “less-lethal” rounds while holding their press badges high in the air.
Some of the most alarming footage taken shows police officers exploding with rage at random civilians walking on footpaths far from protesters with no apparent reason, hitting them in the face with pepper spray and shoving them before casually walking away.
Share widely: National guard and MPD sweeping our residential street. Shooting paint canisters at us on our own front porch. Yelling “light em up” #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd #JusticeForGeorge #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/bW48imyt55
— Tanya Kerssen (@tkerssen) May 31, 2020
One video, taken in Minneapolis on Saturday, captured police officers in black masks being escorted by a military Humvee firing what appeared to be paint canisters directly at a woman standing on her porch in a quiet neighbourhood. Before firing, one officer can be heard screaming: “Light ‘em up!
The Humvee appeared to belong to the National Guard, which had deployed at Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz request earlier in the day. In an email to Gizmodo yesterday, the National Guard declined to confirm ownership of the vehicle.