NYPD, protestors, no consequences, Civilian Complaint Review Board, Bill de Blasio

NYPD Officers Face No Consequences For Driving SUVs Into Protestors

Justice still evades us.

Two NYPD officers are breathing a sigh of relief after learning they had been cleared of any wrongdoing by Police Commissioner Edward Caban and the Civilian Complaint Review Board officials for driving their SUVs into a crowd of George Floyd protesters in 2020.

The outcomes were posted on Dec. 9 on the website 50-a.org — a site that goes through public law enforcement databases to find information on disciplinary cases involving police officers. Officer Andrey Samusev was found not guilty of multiple charges of improper use of force with a vehicle, while charges against Officer Daniel Alvarez were reversed. The officers’ SUVs were seen on video driving into the crowd of protesters who were blocking a path with their bodies and metal barriers.

The Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) brought charges against Alvarez and Samusev after an internal NYPD probe cleared both of them of wrongdoing in the incident in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. CCRB prosecutors sought for Samusev to be terminated during an administrative trial in December 2022 and for Alvarez to serve one year on probation.

Scenes from the protests garnered national attention. Former NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio sent shockwaves after blaming the situation on the protesters.

“It’s inappropriate for protesters to surround a police vehicle and threaten police officers,” de Blasio said. “That’s wrong on its face, and that hasn’t happened in the history of protests in the city.”  

In the weeks following the incident, then-Commissioner Dermot Shea told the New York State Attorney General’s Office that he didn’t believe the officers’ actions mimicked inappropriate force due to the vehicles being “penned in by protesters” and “set upon and attacked.”

Aaron Ross, one of the protesters injured by the SUVs, said he was hoping for the officers to be terminated but isn’t shocked they got a slap on the wrist.

“I mean, what’s going to happen to these officers? They’re going to lose a few days of vacation? They’re going to lose pay?” he said.

During the trial, Alvarez testified that he felt “under attack” as people were banging on his vehicle and breaking glass when he pulled up with Samusev. “I wasn’t prepared for this. We’ve never been trained on this.”

Samusev testified that he has “never more scared for my life,” with his foot on the brake once he was crowded by protesters. After an object hit the vehicle, he flinched, causing the SUV to move forward. “I thought this was my last day in this world.”

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