Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has dropped a felony charge against a Black Lives Matter leader who stood accused of assaulting a police officer, even after an NYPD team was chased off by a crowd as they moved in to arrest him on Friday.
Vance personally intervened in ordering a felony assault in the second-degree charge against Derrick Ingram, 28, reduced to misdemeanor assault, sources told the New York Post.
Ingram has been accused of injuring a female NYPD officer after shouting into her ear with a bullhorn June 14. The officer had to be hospitalized with temporary hearing damage following the incident.
A team of officers was sent to arrest Ingram on Friday, but they fell back after a standoff outside his home lasting a few hours where they were confronted by an angry mob. Later, Ingram surrendered himself to a nearby police precinct after the officers had left.
If convicted on the felony count, Ingram faced up to seven years in prison. But now, he may not face any jail time at all if he’s even convicted on the misdemeanor count.
No explanation for the reduced charge was given by the DA’s office, and Ingram — who leads the activist group Warriors in the Garden — was released without bail Saturday night.
NYPD unions were livid over Vance’s actions, with NYC Patrolman’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch blasting Vance’s decision to drop the felony charge.
“Is there any doubt who is in charge of this city now? The criminal mob is dictating their terms to the NYPD brass and district attorneys, who are tripping over themselves to comply,” Lynch said in a statement.
“Police officers want to know: What are we still doing out here?” Lynch added.
“Why are our leaders sending us out to enforce laws they don’t believe in? And what are we supposed to tell New Yorkers who are watching us retreat while violence overwhelms their streets?” Lynch continued.
The decision to reduce the BLM leader’s charges comes as the NYPD released statistics for July showing a 177 percent incense in shootings across the city compared to the same period last year.
In addition, murders have climbed 59 percent for July, while burglaries rose 31 percent and auto theft by 53 percent.
Scores of NYPD officers decked out in riot gear came to Ingram’s apartment to arrest him on the assault charge, but an hours-long standoff ensued after he refused to allow them in without a warrant.
He also hopped on Instagram Live to complain that the allegations against him were racially motivated.
“What did I do? What did I do? I was born black, that’s what I did,” he said.
As the standoff persisted, a mob of protesters descended on the area and began harassing and shouting at officers. As the crowd grew in size, NYPD officers retreated, an act that stunned and angered union leaders who said officers should have stood their ground.
At one point during his Instagram Live broadcast, Ingram can be heard talking to his lawyer while an NYPD officer is banging on the apartment door saying, “Why don’t you be the warrior you state you are and come out and face the system?”
Ingram said he was fearful that officers would injure him if he went outside or plant some incriminating evidence in his home.
Six hours into the standoff, about 100 people had gathered around officers shouting, “Where’s your warrant?”
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea ordered officers to disperse around 1 p.m.
Author: Jon Dougherty