Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams, who was stopped and handcuffed at the West Indian Day Parade, believes the policemen caught on video dancing provocatively at the same parade were doing more to improve community relations with law enforcement. NY1's Criminal Justice Reporter Dean Meminger filed the following report.
In one point in Brooklyn's West Indian Day Parade, policemen were caught on tape dancing very closely with some participants. At another point, other policemen were seen putting Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams in handcuffs.
The New York City Police Department officers who arrested Williams said they did not know he was a councilman and thought he was trying to sneak into a restricted zone.
Not surprisingly, Williams told NY1 on Wednesday that the dancing policemen were doing a better job of helping with community-police relations.
"We have to be a careful when we ask officers to be more engaged in our community, and then admonish them so hard when they actually do that," said Williams.
The councilman said his incident has nothing to do with the dancing policemen and that those officers should not be disciplined. However, he said the NYPD is doing the right thing by looking into the gyrating incident.
"I would perhaps say he may not want to mount somebody while he is working," said Williams. "I did a lot of dancing [in the parade] but I stayed before the line.... I didn't go too far."
Along Brooklyn's Eastern Parkway, where the parade actually took place, many said the dancing cops had some good moves and they should just be left alone."
"Let them have some fun. What they are dealing with out on these streets, cops should have fun," said a local.
"No big deal, they are just having fun," said another.
"So what? They were having fun, no big deal," said a third.
Others said the officers should have known they were going too far or letting the dancers go to far.
"It was disgusting. You have to respect the uniform and have some pride. It was intolerable," said a Brooklyn resident. "My daughter is a cop, and if I ever saw her in anything like that, I would slaughter her."
That does not likely to happen to the officers in the video. Both the police commissioner and mayor have said the dancing incident does not appear to be a big deal, but the investigation is not over.