The Manhattan district attorney has reduced the assault charges against a Black Lives Matter group leader to a mere misdemeanor after he turned himself in to face charges that he injured a cop.
DA Cyrus Vance's order to Manhattan prosecutors to lower the charge of Derrick Ingram, 28, and release him drew a rebuke from law enforcement officials.
"He lowered the charge because he is afraid of the protesters," a law enforcement source told the New York Post.
The June incident leading to the assault charge occurred when Ingram allegedly used a battery-powered bullhorn to shout into an officer's ear, damaging his hearing. He was only identified by police after he did it again weeks later to another cop.
"This is ludicrous, he attacked a police officer," a Manhattan cop told the Post. "What does he have to do to get bail, seriously injure a cop? Or worse?"
The initial felony assault charge, carrying up to seven years in prison, is customary for any injury inflicted on a cop, but now Ingram might not face any jail time.
"Is there any doubt who is in charge in this city now?" Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch told the Post in a statement. "The criminal mob is dictating their terms to the NYPD brass and district attorneys, who are tripping over themselves to comply.
"Police officers want to know: What are we still doing out here? Why are our leaders sending us out to enforce laws they don't believe in? And what are we supposed to tell the New Yorkers who are watching us retreat while violence overwhelms their streets?"
Ingram's charges were reduced after a deployment of cops with tactical gear, dogs, sniper rifles, and a police helicopter gathered outside Ingram's apartment. During the standoff, Ingram lamented online, per the report: "What did I do? I was born black, that's what I did."
Regardless of the alleged attack to injure a cop, Mayor Mayor Bill de Blasio supported NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea order to withdraw the police from outside Ingram's apartment.
"Commissioner Shea made the right decision to call off the operation," de Blasio said, per the Post. "Assaulting an officer is unacceptable and will always lead to consequences, but arrests must be made properly."
Ingram's supporters celebrated the police retreat as a victory.
"We stood up to the biggest [expletive] gang in this nation, and we won," a supporter shouted into a loudspeaker in Bryant Park a day later. "They waved their white flag. They took their illegal occupation, and they backed it down the street."
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