A Black Lives Matter protester turned himself in Saturday after the New York Police Department attempted to arrest him on Friday – sending a large number of officers to his apartment allegedly without a warrant.
On Friday, NYPD officers attempted to arrest 28-year-old Derrick Ingram, co-founder of the nonviolent activist group Warriors In The Garden, at his apartment building in Manhattan.
In a statement to CNN, NYPD spokeswoman Sgt. Jessica McRorie said the officers were “seeking him for an open complaint report for an assault on a police officer” during a protest in Manhattan on June 14.
During the June protest, an officer attempted to prevent him from crossing a police line and a struggle ensued, McRorie said. Ingram allegedly “placed a handheld megaphone directly against the officer’s ear, activated the megaphone and yelled, causing pain and protracted impairment of hearing,” according to McRorie.
Ingram was unarmed when the officers, some in tactical gear, arrived at his building early Friday morning, according to a statement from Warriors In The Garden. Officers had police dogs and sharpshooters pointed rifles at his window, and more than 30 police vehicles were stationed outside Ingram’s building, the statement says. CNN could not independently confirm Ingram’s claims.
At the end of the block, Black Lives Matter supporters gathered, chanting things like “Where’s the warrant?”
“This was an attempt to silence our movement,” the statement says. “This militarized police response endangers the safety of residents in Hell’s Kitchen and across NYC.”
Ingram streamed the interaction live on Instagram.
On Saturday, Ingram, accompanied by an attorney, turned himself in on the misdemeanor charge of third-degree assault, the NYPD and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said. He was released on his own recognizance and has been arraigned, the district attorney’s office said.
“Mr. Ingram turned himself in (Saturday) morning in a surrender negotiated by his attorney, and was peacefully accompanied to the precinct by his friends and allies. Such agreed-upon surrenders are common practice between lawyers and the NYPD,” said Lupe Todd-Medina, a spokeswoman for NY County Defender Services.
Todd-Medina said the attorney’s efforts to negotiate Ingram’s surrender “were nearly foiled by an unprecedented show of police overreach yesterday morning and afternoon” and that they look forward to fighting the charges against Ingram.
“The presence of NYPD officers on Mr. Ingram’s fire escape, helicopters circling overhead, and police dogs was a shocking demonstration of the tactics the NYPD is willing to undertake to suppress dissent,” Todd-Medina said.
Before turning himself in, Ingram spoke to a crowd at New York’s Bryant Park, saying he was “highly traumatized” by the experience and said he would focus future efforts on removing New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea from his office.
Danny Frost, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office, said in a statement Saturday that their office “does not condone the extraordinary tactics employed by police on Friday.”
“These actions were disproportionate to the alleged offense that occurred two months ago, and unjustifiably escalated conflict between law enforcement and the communities we serve,” Frost said.
The NYPD didn’t respond to questions about details of the attempted arrest or if they had a warrant, but Patrick Lynch, the president of the NYPD Police Benevolent Association asked in a statement why the NYPD left Ingram’s home on Friday without arresting him. Lynch called it a “retreat” on the part of the NYPD.
“The NYPD’s top brass better start talking. Who really issued the order to retreat?,” Lynch said. “They have set an unbelievably damaging precedent. Police officers and all New Yorkers deserve to know who signed off on the NYPD’s literal surrender to criminals.”
Officers spent six hours outside Ingram’s building, Chi Ossé, a co-founder of the group, said in a tweet. Officers blocked the street, Ossé said, and wouldn’t let him through even when he said he was a resident.
Officers said they had a warrant for Ingram’s arrest, Ossé said, but they did not show one when asked. Hours later, the officers left – without making an arrest.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said police were right to end Friday’s arrest operation, according to a statement obtained by CNN affiliate NY1.
“Commissioner Shea made the right decision to call off the operation,” he said, referring to New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea. “Assaulting an officer is unacceptable and will always lead to consequences, but arrests must be made properly.”