Viral video shows top NYPD officer pepper-spraying himself while breaking up anti-Israel protest on Manhattan Bridge - Hindustan Times
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Viral video shows top NYPD officer pepper-spraying himself while breaking up anti-Israel protest on Manhattan Bridge

BySumanti Sen
May 13, 2024 09:43 AM IST

A viral video shows NYPD Assistant Chief James McCarthy spaying the chemical irritant on his face as he attempted to deploy it on the demonstrators

A top NYPD officer was seen accidentally pepper-spraying himself while trying to deal with an anti-Israel protest on the Manhattan Bridge Saturday, May 11. A viral video on social media shows NYPD Assistant Chief James McCarthy spaying the chemical irritant on his face as he attempted to deploy it on the demonstrators. The protesters marched across the bridge, bringing traffic to a standstill.

NYPD Assistant Chief James McCarthy pepper-sprays himself during anti-Israel protest on Manhattan Bridge (Photo by Alex Kent / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)(Getty Images via AFP)
NYPD Assistant Chief James McCarthy pepper-sprays himself during anti-Israel protest on Manhattan Bridge (Photo by Alex Kent / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)(Getty Images via AFP)

What does the video show?

The footage shows the demonstrator chanting ‘Rafah!’ as they fall over each other amid the chaos. Police in riot gear are seen trying to wrangle them.

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Some people in the group of protesters are seen carrying signs reading ‘Palestine will be free.’ Many seem to have their arms linked together while they backed away from the cops.

McCarthy is seen alongside three protesters towards the end of the video. He takes pepper spray out of his pocket and accidentally sprays himself. Other officers reportedly later dumbed a bottle of water over his face.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 11: NYPD Assistant Chief James McCarthy is assisted after seemingly being affected by a chemical irritant as police arrest pro-Palestinian demonstrators blocking traffic on the Manhattan Bridge as they participate in a National Day of Action protest ahead of Nakba Day on May 11, 2024 in New York City (Photo by Alex Kent / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)(Getty Images via AFP)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 11: NYPD Assistant Chief James McCarthy is assisted after seemingly being affected by a chemical irritant as police arrest pro-Palestinian demonstrators blocking traffic on the Manhattan Bridge as they participate in a National Day of Action protest ahead of Nakba Day on May 11, 2024 in New York City (Photo by Alex Kent / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)(Getty Images via AFP)

Several other videos doing the rounds on social media captured moments from the protest. One clip shows the demonstrators marching, as the caption says, “As protesters — marching with their arms linked together — approached the Manhattan side of the Manhattan Bridge, a group of officers headed towards them in preparation for mass arrests. This is the last video I took before being cuffed”.

In a post on X, NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Operations Kaz Daughtry wrote, “Today, over 100 protestors intentionally blocked lanes of traffic on the Manhattan Bridge. This footage gives us a bird’s-eye view of our police officers placing individuals under arrest, restoring order, and keeping NYC moving. More than an inconvenience, this is a public safety hazard. “

He added, “The NYPD will always protect freedom of speech and protest, but we will not stand for lawlessness!”

The NYPD confirmed to New York Post that about 150 people were arrested during the demonstration on Saturday evening.

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