Whether the police officers who handcuffed and detained Brooklyn city councilman Jumaane Williams along with an aide to Public Advocate Bill de Blasio at the borough's West Indian Day parade did so out of a misunderstanding, for the mens' protection, or out of sheer racism, will be determined in an internal investigation. But what is certain at this point is that the incident will do little to cool tensions between New York residents, especially those of color, and the New York Police Department, over the department's proclivity to stop and frisk people on the street for no apparent reason.
Williams, along with De Blasio aide Kirsten John Foy, spent about 30 minutes in police custody after they were thrown to the ground and handcuffed for trying to walk through an area near the Brooklyn Museum that had been closed off. The men had tried to show police their identification as they made their way from the parade route to a reception at the museum on Monday, but a phalanx of officers blocked their path, and when they confronted the officers, they were thrown to the ground and handcuffed, reported NBC New York. The New York Times quoted police spokesman Paul J. Browne, who said a crowd formed around the officers and somebody punched a police captain in the head, which led to the physical confrontation. This video of Foy's arrest has been making the rounds on sites like Capital New York: