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NYC protests, crime threats at Long Island malls, over Floyd arrest video

A protester is detained by police during a

A protester is detained by police during a rally in Union Square about the death of Minneapolis, Minnesota man George Floyd at the hands of police. Credit: Getty Images/Stephanie Keith

Anger over an unarmed black man's death after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck sparked protests Thursday in Manhattan and threats of "criminal mischief" at Long Island shopping malls, authorities said.

More than 30 people were arrested in Manhattan protests over the on-camera death of George Floyd, according to the NYPD.

Among those arrested was a person who struck a cop in the head with a garbage can, another who punched an officer in the face, and a third who had a knife, NYPD spokesman Officer Andrew Lava said.

The protests began around 3 p.m. near Union Square and headed south, Lava said. 

Across the country, there have been protests and riots over the death of Floyd, a handcuffed man in Minneapolis, who died after a police officer kneeled on his neck Monday for nearly eight minutes. Floyd is heard pleading that he cannot breathe until he stops talking and moving. 

On Thursday, the Nassau police department sent out a bulletin to patrol officers warning of a "possible threat to retail businesses" related to Floyd's death, said spokesman Det. Lt. Richard LeBrun.

The bulletin directed officers to be aware of social media posts calling for “criminal mischief and larcenies” at Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City and Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream. The bulletin, obtained by Newsday, contained four screenshotted tweets alluding to protests, including one that read: “We need 500-1,000 People at Roosevelt Field Mall Neimans Marcus Parking Lot at 8:00 pm.”

LeBrun said while police increased patrols in those areas, no large crowds formed and no arrests were made.

“The Nassau County Police Department’s Intelligence Unit gathered social media posts that showed a possible threat at local malls,” LeBrun said. “They did a complete Intelligence work up and provided information to the patrol units and added extra patrols at the malls. As of this time there are no issues. We continue to monitor this situation and are working on identifying the alleged threat.”

Earlier Thursday, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea tweeted: “What we saw in Minnesota was deeply disturbing. It was wrong. We must take a stand and address it. We must come together, condemn these actions and reinforce who we are as members of the NYPD. This is not acceptable ANYWHERE.”

Some responded to the tweet with thanks; others responded with criticism of the NYPD’s own cases of alleged police misconduct, including at least one photo of neck compression of a suspect.

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