An organizer of New York City’s Black Lives Matter protests has turned himself in to police hours after he was besieged inside his apartment by officers seeking to arrest him for attacking a cop.
Derrick Ingram, the founder of social advocacy group Warriors in the Garden, reported to the NYPD’s Midtown North Precinct on Saturday morning alongside his lawyer and a crowd of about 100 peaceful supporters.
An NYPD spokeswoman said Ingram, 28, was booked on a charge of second-degree assault in connection with a June 14 incident during a protest in Midtown Manhattan.
Warriors in the Garden’s Instagram account reported that Ingram was set to be released after appearing before a judge today.
Ingram’s surrender came a day after dozens of NYPD officers clad in riot gear descended on his apartment to arrest him for allegedly assaulting a female officer by using a bullhorn to scream into her ear at a protest.
An hours-long standoff ensued as Ingram refused to let the officers enter his apartment without a warrant and decried the allegations against him via Instagram Live.
‘What did I do? What did I do?’ Ingram said on the livestream. ‘I was born black, that’s what I did.’
Meanwhile a throng of protesters gathered near Ingram’s home and aimed to force the officers to retreat by shouting at them and filming the stunning show of force on social media.
The NYPD officers retreated as the protest crowd grew – eliciting outrage from police union leaders who said they should not have backed down.
The officers had arrived at Ingram’s apartment in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood at about 7am Friday but did not have a warrant allowing forced entry.
Officers banged on the door and demanded that Ingram emerge while police dogs stood in the hallway and an NYPD helicopter circled above.
About two dozen police vehicles lined West 45th Street as barriers were put up on either end of the block.
Ingram broadcasted the situation on Warrior in the Garden’s Instagram account from inside his apartment, eventually drawing a massive crowd of protesters to the edge of the blockade.
In the Instagram video Ingram was heard speaking to his lawyer on the phone while a cop outside his door shouted: ‘Why don’t you be the warrior you state you are and come out and face the system?’
Ingram told his audience that he was afraid that officers would hurt him if he went outside, or that they would plant something incriminating in his home if he gave them access.
On the street below, over 100 protesters raised their fists and chanted: ‘Where’s your warrant.’
About six hours into the stand-off police suddenly began to disperse after NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea reportedly ordered them to pull back at about 1pm.
Warriors in the Garden, a youth-led group that Ingram co-founded in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis that has organized many peaceful protests in New York City the past few months, issued a statement condemning Ingram’s attempted arrest on Friday.
The group accused the NYPD of using ‘threats and intimidation tactics’ to rattle Ingram, noting that he has ‘no criminal history’.
‘This was an attempt to silence our movement,’ the group said. ‘This militarized police response endangers the safety of residents in Hell’s Kitchen and across NYC.’
Later in the evening Warriors in the Garden posted on Instagram calling for protesters to join them when Ingram turned himself in the next day.
About 100 people turned out to show their support for the 28-year-old on Saturday morning as they marched through the streets to the precinct.
After Ingram entered the precinct the protesters formed a human chain outside, but the crowds soon dispersed as Ingram wasn’t expected to come back out for a while.
NYPD Sgt Jessica McRorie confirmed the assault charge against Ingram on Saturday afternoon, saying that it stemmed from an incident in Midtown Manhattan on June 14.
McRorie said Ingram had struggled with an officer who tried to stop him from crossing a police line during the demonstration before placing a live megaphone against her ear and yelling, ‘causing pain and protracted impairment of hearing’.
Warriors in the Garden had previously indicated that the incident took place on July 12 in Bayside, Queens, when Ingram was out protesting with a group that clashed with ‘Back the Blue’ advocates.
Ingram professed his innocence during Friday’s livestream, saying that he never assaulted or threatened anyone.
It came just over a week after the arrest of a transgender woman, Nikki Stone, who was dragged away from a protest in an unmarked van on July 28 after police accused her of vandalizing NYPD property.
Video of Stone’s dramatic arrest went viral on social media, drawing criticism from Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov Andrew Cuomo.
De Blasio acknowledged that Stone’s arrest appeared to be justified but said the execution was poor especially given ongoing tensions over NYPD practices.
Following the face-off outside Ingram’s home on Friday, the NYPD was admonished by city police unions who said it was ridiculous for the officers to retreat under pressure from an ‘angry mob’.
Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch demanded an explanation for the retreat, saying: ‘The NYPD’s top brass better start talking: Who really issued the order to retreat? Who put police officers in the dangerous position of backing down in the face of an angry mob?’
The Detectives’ Endowment Association also decried the decision.
‘By walking away from arresting a man who was wanted for previously assaulting a cop and backing down to an angry mob, the lives of detectives and their fellow cops were endangered and their valuable time was wasted,’ the association’s president Paul DiGiacomo said.