NEW YORK, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- New York police say they're investigating an incident in which a city councilman was held at a parade after arguing with officers over use of a closed sidewalk.
Councilman Jumaane D. Williams, who represents Brooklyn, and Kirsten John Foy, community affairs director for city Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, were handcuffed and detained briefly Monday during the West Indian Day Parade, de Blasio told The New York Times.
Neither Williams nor Foy was arrested or charged with a crime.
Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly had met with Williams and Foy "and directed that an investigation into the matter be conducted," Police Department spokesman Paul Browne said.
Williams and Foy were walking along a sidewalk police had blocked toward a post-parade event at the Brooklyn Museum and had been given permission to use the walkway by a police officer, de Blasio said. Then, uniformed officers surrounded them and Williams, wearing a city council member's pin, tried to explain who he and Foy were, "but the officers weren't listening," de Blasio told the Times.
After the two men began arguing with the officers, they said they were thrown to the ground, handcuffed and taken to a synagogue, where de Blasio said he spoke to a police commander, who released Williams and Foy, the Times reported.
Browne said a crowd had gathered after "an unknown individual punched a police captain on the scene" and Williams and Foy, both handcuffed, "were brought across the street and detained there until their identities were established, and then released."
The Times said some witnesses questioned whether the race of Williams and Foy, both black, played a role in the incident.