The NYPD’s highest-ranking uniformed member kneeled in solidarity with George Floyd protesters at a demonstration in Manhattan on Monday night.
Chief of Department Terence Monahan made the gesture amid demonstrators outside Washington Square Park, where he also addressed the crowd — pleading for an end to the violent outbursts that have plagued otherwise peaceful protests.
“Everyone, this has got to end,” Monahan told a crowd of several hundred demonstrators.
“We all know Minnesota was wrong. They were arrested, which they should be.”
Monahan then gestured to his officers, who since Friday night have clashed on several occasions with protesters.
“There is not a police officer over here that thinks Minnesota was justified,” Monahan, using a loudspeaker, told the crowd. “We cannot be fighting. We have to live here. This is our home.”
After kneeling, the top chief shared an embrace with protest organizers.
Monday marked the fifth straight night of protests over the death of Floyd, a black man who died last week in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department.
The escalation of violence was instigated by what city officials are calling a rogue anarchist group. The situation led officials to implement a citywide curfew from 11 p.m. Monday until 5 a.m. Tuesday.