NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea on Monday said the department does believe in a “light touch” amid widespread protests following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota, responding to recent comments from New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“If you look at yesterday in New York City, we had thousands and thousands of people protesting all day and not really an incident,” Mr. Shea said on “Fox & Friends.” “Sometimes there was some agitation, but it was exactly as how it should be.”
“We believe in a light touch — we are also very capable to respond to multiple situations and every situation is fluid, so we’ll deal with whatever is in front of us and we’ll deal with it accordingly,” he said.
Mr. de Blasio, who has had a tenuous relationship with the city’s police department, had said last week he wanted to see a “light touch” in response to protests over the death of Floyd, a 46-year-old black man suspected of using fake money at a grocery store.
Floyd died while in police custody last week after an officer knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes. The former officer, Derek Chauvin, now faces third-degree murder and manslaughter charges.
Floyd’s death has triggered a wave of protests across the country that escalated into heated clashes with law enforcement over the weekend in certain spots.