If you measure the success of the New York City Police Department in terms of how many residents are angry at it, don't trust it, say they've been wronged by it, or could've been eaten by it, the NYPD is doing great!
But by many other measures, not so much.
Last night, the arrest of two men outside of the Baisley Park Housing Projects in Jamaica, Queens led to protests and a standoff with riot police.
The NYPD claims officers spotted Raynard Fields, 27, and Corey Crichlow, 33, sitting in a car and holding drugs. When they attempted to make an arrest, the NYPD said one man pushed an officer to the ground. But residents watching the interaction said the officers were the needlessly violent ones. The NYPD apparently dragged one suspect out of his car and beat him as he lay on the ground. When the other suspect tried to help his friend, cops beat him too, residents said.
About 50 residents marched to the 113th precinct to protest the violence, where they were met by dozens of cops in riot gear.
"I am sick of the 113th Precinct harassing the young black men in the Baisley projects," resident Kathy Moore, 40, told the Daily News.
The protest ended peacefully, but tensions with the NYPD have been increasing over the past few months.
The New York City Council recently suggested that the NYPD needed an Inspector General to keep an eye on how the department is treating city residents. But that plan was blasted by almost every Mayoral Candidate. One even mysteriously reversed positions on the issue within a matter of days. And Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he'd veto any proposal for an Inspector General.
The NYPD has also been in the hot-seat recently over the shooting of 16-year-old Kimani Gray in Brooklyn. The officers involved in that incident had previously been accused of civil rights abuses, and witnesses said that Gray was running away from cops when he was shot, not pointing a gun at them, as the NYPD claimed.