Showing restraint is not what the NYPD is typically known for. Time after time, poorly trained officers needlessly escalate situations that could otherwise be resolved without physical force.

Let’s take the detention of City Councilman Jumaane Williams and Kirsten Foy, an aide to the Public Advocate, at the West Indian Day Parade as an example.

The men, both of whom happen to be black, said they received permission from an officer in a white shirt to use a blocked off sidewalk to enter an event near the Brooklyn Museum and Williams was even wearing his special City Council pin. But that must not have been communicated too well. They were quickly surrounded by officers and at one point Foy was thrown to the ground. Both were handcuffed, detained for about 30 minutes and then let go without being charged.

Obviously embarrassed, the NYPD’s PR flack attempted to explain what went wrong:

A crowd formed and an unknown individual punched a police captain on the scene,” said Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman.

That assailant was never found and likely escaped onto the grassy knoll.