NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said Monday that people captured on video appearing to interfere with arrests are making it harder to apprehend suspects and should stop meddling with police officers doing their jobs.
"There is no denying on the videos which have surfaced . . . what is seen is interference on the part of onlookers -- maybe relatives and friends, people in general -- who shouldn't be interfering," said Bratton. "That interference certainly exacerbates the situation, raising the officers' tension . . . that is of concern."
Bratton said officers must act constitutionally but people have an obligation to submit to an arrest without the interference of onlookers, as happened recently in some encounters caught on video, Newsday reports.
Bratton was reacting to videos posted on the Internet in recent days showing police officers in fights and tussles with suspects. In one case an onlooker is heard berating cops about their lack of probable cause to make a marijuana arrest while another person appears close to getting physically involved in the struggle the officers were having with the suspect.