Vincent D’Andraia is the NYPD officer who was recorded pushing activist Dounya Zayer to the ground during a protest against police brutality in Brooklyn, New York, on May 29. The rally was held in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis on May 25.
D’Andraia, 28, is an officer in the NYPD’s 73rd precinct in Brooklyn, New York. The 73rd Precinct serves the Brownsville section of the borough. According to the NYU Furman Center, 71.3 percent of Brownsville residents identify as African-American.
At the time the video was recorded, many of the protesters were moving from outside of the Barclay’s Center in the downtown area of Brooklyn to nearby Fort Greene Park.
According to Patch, Zayer has filed a lawsuit against D’Andraia and Commander Craig Edelman, who is seen in the video walking past her after she was pushed to the ground. On June 9, prosecutors announced that D’Andraia was to be charged with misdemeanor assault among other charges including menacing.
The Initial Posting of the Push Video Said D’Andraia Called Dounya Zayer a ‘Stupid F***ing B***h’
NYPD officer just called a female protester a “stupid fucking bitch” and threw her to the ground pic.twitter.com/18YUHYmqQa
— Jason Lemon (@JasonLemon) May 30, 2020
The video showing the push was first posted by Newsweek’s Jason Lemon. Lemon said in his tweet that the NYPD officer called Zayer a “stupid f***ing b***h” prior to the push. NBC New York reports that the NYPD is investigating the incident.
Later, Dounya Zayer, the woman who was pushed, posted a video from just prior to the incident. That video shows D’Andraia swiping Zayer’s phone away.
This is the officer. He threw my phone before throwing me. As you can see I was already backing up. All I asked was why. pic.twitter.com/8mct5GrztV
— Dounya Zayer (@zayer_dounya) May 30, 2020
Zayer tweeted another video from what appears to be a hospital bed. Zayer says that social media rumors that she spat in D’Andraia’s face were not true.
At a press conference days after the incident, Zayer told reporters, “I am in pain. My head hurts. I haven’t slept in three days and I cannot stop throwing up, but I am trying everything in my power to keep myself together for the people who are depending on me to speak on the situation.”
Zayer added, “Them acting the way they acted today isn’t helping the cause. It isn’t proving to us that they care about us. He did this in front of his lieutenant and multiple other officers who watched me hit the ground. One even looked back to make sure I was still on the ground and they continued walking. Not one officer tried to help me and not one officer tried to stop the officer who assaulted me.”
D’Andraia Graduated From the NYPD Academy in July 2015 After Serving in the Marines
At the time of writing, D’Andraia’s Facebook page has been deleted. Screenshots of that page have since been spread on Twitter. The profile says that D’Andraia is from Stony Brook, New York, and attended Ward Melville High School. D’Andraia says on his profile that he “Works at NYC Mayor’s Office.” He graduated from the NYPD’s academy on July 2, 2015. D’Andraia’s girlfriend is a competitive bodybuilder.
Congratulations to @NYPD73Pct SpecialProjects Sergeant Nocerino and the day tour Anti-crime teams Detective McEvoy, Officer Fernandez and Dandraia for being my crimefighters of the week. Keep up the great work and stay safe! @NYPDnews #NYPDProtecting pic.twitter.com/MJPcAmFTUP
— Chief Fausto Pichardo (@NYPDChiefPatrol) August 9, 2019
D’Andraia’s father has also deleted his Facebook page. His page was viewed by Heavy prior to its deletion. It showed multiple pro-police and pro-Donald Trump posts.
D’Andraia was also a U.S. Marine. D’Andraia was stationed at Parris Island, South Carolina. In 2011, D’Andraia’s mother said that he was the head of his platoon.
D’Andraia’s mother said in a February 2019 post that her son was born on a February 29. D’Andraia’s mother paid tribute to her son saying, “You have such determination in everything you do! A Marine, A police officer who works hard and loves brotherhood like no other.” She added, “Everyone who knows you, can honestly say you have their back and will do anything for them! You have the biggest heart ever!” In a 2015 post, D’Andraia’s mother said her son wanted to become a police officer since she couldn’t remember. She added, “Vincent is a Marine and was head of his platoon in boot camp He continues to amaze us in the knowledge he has learned! He has a lot of experience! However, nothing prepares for the real world!
D’Andraia Attended Kean University in New Jersey
Always out there, always protecting.
After a brief foot-chase last night, @NYPD73Pct Anti-Crime cops Detective McEvoy & Officer D’Andraia recovered this illegal firearm & arrested the man carrying it.
Great work officers — one less gun on the streets of Brooklyn. pic.twitter.com/B9AM9ilqPY
— Commissioner Shea (@NYPDShea) April 8, 2020
D’Andraia attended Kean University in Union and Hillsdale, New Jersey. D’Andraia played on the Kean University Cougars lacrosse team.
At a press conference, Zayer said about the incident, “We were given the right to assemble in the First Amendment, but that is not what I saw. I do not think all cops are evil. But I think that nobody is trying to fix what’s going on.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has called the video disturbing, has said he hopes an internal investigation into the incident moves quickly. Congresswoman Yvette Clark said at a press conference in Brownsville that D’Andraia and Edelman must be removed from the NYPD.
“They cannot be trusted with the well-being of our community,” Clarke said, according to Patch.