“In light of the growing violence attendant to the ‘Occupy’ movements across the country, particularly as evidenced by the recent events in Oakland, I am compelled to place these so-called ‘occupiers’ on notice that physical assaults on police officers will not be tolerated, said Ed Mullins, president of the five thousand member Sergeant’s Benevolent Association of the New York City Police Department. “Any assault on a police officer is not only punishable as a felony in the State of New York, but will also be met with swift and certain legal action by the SBA, which will seek monetary damages against any individual who causes injury to a New York City Sergeant.”
According to a spokeswoman for SBA, officers have been “walking on eggshells” about how to handle the protesters, and that they intended for today’s statement to provide a warning to any protesters who are considering violence.
In an interview, Mr. Mullins acknowledged that dealing with protesters is a hazard of the job, and said he respected the right for demonstrators to peacefully assemble, but added that “being somebody’s punching bag is not part of our job description.”
“To date, over twenty police officers have been injured in ‘Occupy Wall Street’ related incidents,” he said. ”I am deeply concerned that protestors will be emboldened by the recent rash of violent acts against police officers in other cities. New York’s police officers are working around the clock as the already overburdened economy in New York is being drained by ‘occupiers’ who intentionally and maliciously instigate needless and violent confrontations with the police. In response, I have instructed the SBA’s attorneys to pursue the harshest possible civil sanctions – including monetary damages – against any individual protestor who causes injury to my members. Protestors are not immunized from civil liability merely because their victims are wearing the uniform of the New York City Police Department.”
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