On Monday night, New York City Police Department Chief Terence Monahan knelt with protesters in Manhattan, holding the hands of those kneeling besides him.
Speaking to CNN on Tuesday night, Monahan decried George Floyd's death. "What happened to George Floyd was wrong," he said, adding that police around the country were now "paying the price" for what happened.
The protest on Monday had been tense and "contentious," with about 5,000 protesters gathered in Washington Square Park and around 50 officers, said Monahan.
He said as the crowd got more agitated, organizers asked the police to help — at which point Monahan asked for a microphone, and spoke directly to the protesters, asking them to help take back control of the city from "outside agitators."
"The cops in the community have had a great relationship (with the people) for the most part in this city," Monahan told CNN. "At that point, (the organizer) asked if I'd go down on a knee with him. I said, sure, and we went down. Very organic, nothing planned in what we did."