'Torch More Vans': NYC Council Aide Urged Violence Against Police

Police vehicles burn
Police vehicles burn / Getty Images
July 7, 2023

A staffer for the city council in New York City is under fire for comments advocating violence against police officers.

"I would like it on the record that I would like you all to throw more bottles at cops and torch more vans," Ember Ollom, a digital press aide for council speaker Adrienne Adams, said in a May 2020 tweet, the New York Post reported. The call for violence against police came amid the George Floyd riots.

Patrick Hendry, president of New York City's largest police union, condemned the comments by the city staffer.

"No wonder the City Council spends more time tormenting police officers than helping us stop violent crime—just look at the hardcore cop-haters on their team," Hendry told the New York Post. 

Hendry called for Ollom to be "investigated and fired" but added that it "won't happen" because the council "only believes in 'accountability' for cops."

Ollom said she now regrets the comments she made three years ago but added it's "unfortunate" her comments are "being used to attack me."

"Witnessing police brutality against New Yorkers at the height of the 2020 George Floyd protests when I was 25 years old, I was frustrated and made a post in anger that was a regrettable choice of words that I later deleted," Ollom said Thursday. "It is unfortunate that a mistake I made three years ago is being used to attack me in pursuit of a political agenda."

The city council defended hiring Ollom as an employee and called criticism of her "misogynistic."

"Ember is a staffer that we selected in a competitive process with multiple candidates. She is highly qualified and dedicated to serving the city—any insinuation that she did not earn her job is frankly misogynistic," said council spokeswoman Shirley Limongi.

The report came the same day the New York Times reported that Democratic mayor Eric Adams lied about a photograph of a fallen police officer. Adams has frequently shown the photo and says he has kept it with him for decades in his wallet. In reality, his office printed the photo from Google and altered it to make it appear faded, the Times reported Thursday.

A report from March showed New York City police officers are resigning in record numbers. The NYPD at the same time lowered its fitness requirements to bring more women on the force.

Published under: New York City , Riots