NYPD mum on cops allegedly hurt in OWS

A police union official claims over 20 officers have been injured in the protests -- but he won't give details

Topics: Occupy Wall Street, New York City, ,

NYPD mum on cops allegedly hurt in OWSEd Mullins, left, and an Occupy Wall Street arrest.(Credit: AP)

Last week, a top New York police union official went on a media blitz putting Occupy Wall Street protesters on notice: any occupier who injures a police sergeant will be hit with a civil lawsuit seeking monetary damages, said Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association.

In a New York Post op-ed, Mullins also said that “at least 20 officers have been hurt during flare-ups with protesters whose actions are becoming increasingly hostile and aggressive” — a fact that he claimed had gone “mostly unreported.”

But since Mullins made his claim — which was picked up by many large media outlets — both he and the NYPD itself have declined repeated opportunities to detail the injuries allegedly sustained by police officers.

It matters not only because injuring a police officer is a serious charge — and potentially a crime — but also because we’re at a crucial moment in the evolution of the media narrative about Occupy. Headlines are starting to appear about whether protesters’ “clashes” with police could mar the movement’s image. Some of these headlines are based on real (though, so far, exceedingly rare) incidents of reported violence by protesters. Some are based on far flimsier evidence.

You Might Also Like

A few obvious questions follow from Mullins’ allegation about injured cops: Who are the officers and under what circumstances were they hurt? Were Occupy protesters arrested and charged in any of the cases? And given Mullins’ threat to bring civil lawsuits against anyone who hurts an NYPD sergeant, has that happened in any of these 20-plus cases?

I’m particularly interested in Mullins’ claim because I’ve attended most of the major Occupy marches in New York, and while I’ve witnessed tension between protesters and police, I’ve never seen an officer get hurt.

Since last week I’ve repeatedly tried to get answers to those questions from spokespeople for the NYPD and the SBA. The department has not responded to inquiries. After several days of not returning calls, SBA spokesman Bob Mladinich told me today that “Unfortunately some scheduling issues arose and [Mullins] won’t be available for interviews for at least the next few days.”

I also asked Ronn Torossian, a public relations executive in New York who works for the SBA, for more information about those injured police officers. He told me in an email that “The SBA will not be providing those details at this time.” (Torossian labeled the email “off the record not for attribution,” but I did not agree to those terms.)

It seems odd that either the NYPD or the SBA would be hesitant to release this sort of information, given the adversarial stance of the police toward the occupiers.

All we can say for sure at this point is that it’s impossible to verify Mullins’ claim that more than 20 officers have been injured during the Occupy protests.

Justin Elliott is a reporter for ProPublica. You can follow him on Twitter @ElliottJustin

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 8
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Sonic's Bacon Double Cheddar Croissant Dog

    Sonic calls this a "gourmet twist" on a classic. I am not so, so fancy, but I know that sprinkling bacon and cheddar cheese onto a tube of pork is not gourmet, even if you have made a bun out of something that is theoretically French.

    Krispy Kreme

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Krispy Kreme's Doughnut Dog

    This stupid thing is a hotdog in a glazed doughnut bun, topped with bacon and raspberry jelly. It is only available at Delaware's Frawley Stadium, thank god.


    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    KFC's Double Down Dog

    This creation is notable for its fried chicken bun and ability to hastily kill your dreams.

    Pizza Hut

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Pizza Hut's Hot Dog Bites Pizza

    Pizza Hut basically just glued pigs-in-blankets to the crust of its normal pizza. This actually sounds good, and I blame America for brainwashing me into feeling that.

    Carl's Jr.

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Carl's Jr. Most American Thick Burger

    This is a burger stuffed with potato chips and hot dogs. Choose a meat, America! How hard is it to just choose a meat?!

    Tokyo Dog

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Tokyo Dog's Juuni Ban

    A food truck in Seattle called Tokyo Dog created this thing, which is notable for its distinction as the Guinness Book of World Records' most expensive hot dog at $169. It is a smoked cheese bratwurst, covered in butter Teriyaki grilled onions, Maitake mushrooms, Wagyu beef, foie gras, black truffles, caviar and Japanese mayo in a brioche bun. Just calm down, Tokyo Dog. Calm down.


    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Limp Bizkit's "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water"

    This album art should be illegal.

  • Recent Slide Shows



Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>