Protests in NYC over the murder of Jordan Neely got tense last night after a 150 people march was broken up by the NYPD outside of the Broadway-Lafayette subway station in Manhattan. According to ABC7NY, a handful of protestors and journalists were arrested for “unspecified offenses” and left bruised and bloody in the process, with police later reporting that a protestor brought a suspected Molotov cocktail to the march.
In a statement shared by ABC7NY, NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey said, “We don’t know what the liquid is as of yet. It has not been tested. You can see the ripped-up rag down there that will facilitate the flame…”
Now, the NYPD News Twitter account has produced a photo of the alleged Molotov cocktail and it looks like the internet — especially Twitter, where the conversation is concentrated — isn’t entirely convinced. The account tweeted a photo of a Topo Chico bottle with a damp… something inside and wrote:
“This is a Molotov cocktail that was found at tonight’s protest.”
Keep in mind it still hasn’t been tested, so this is off to a hell of a start, the tweet continues, “We are committed to ensuring everyone’s right to protest. Violence has no place in civic demonstration. These actions will never be tolerated and anyone bringing weapons on dangerous substances will be arrested.”
This is a Molotov Cocktail that was found at tonight’s protest. We are committed to ensuring everyone’s right to protest. Violence has no place in civic demonstration. These actions will never be tolerated & anyone bringing weapons or dangerous substances will be arrested. https://t.co/5eS5A525SQ pic.twitter.com/VMh14FQQSD
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) May 9, 2023
Obviously, the NYPD is correct in stating that violence has no place in civic demonstration but the photo is a strange one and Twitter users have added additional context to the post writing, “While these materials could technically be used in the making of a Molotov cocktail, the picture does not show a Molotov cocktail, or provide evidence that one was made.”
A typical Molotov cocktail is made using a glass bottle filled with flammable substances like kerosene, gasoline, alcohol, or potassium chlorate, and uses a cloth wick to ignite the substance, but what the NYPD News account posted raises a lot of questions.
Mainly, why, if someone were to make a Molotov cocktail, why would they use a bottle of Topo Chico? But beyond that, if the NYPD does have this alleged Molotov in its possession, why are they just letting it chill out on a table? Why so close to the bottle of Poland Spring? Why leave a potentially dangerous weapon out in the open at all?
Many on Twitter are reacting to the NYPDNews account for this post with some people suggesting the photo is not of a Molotov cocktail at all but of just some random trash the NYPD stumbled upon.
Um… that’s just trash bruh…
— Archer (@ArchertheArmo) May 9, 2023
All this time I’ve been putting trash in my empty bottles to make it easier to carry and throw out, I’ve accidentally been making Molotov cocktails. Should I turn myself in to the FBI or?
— Sturg48 (@jcsturgeon) May 9, 2023
Sir that’s an empty bottle with a dry napkin in it
— Nude Gingrich (@JarJarFan69) May 9, 2023
Same vibes pic.twitter.com/ewpxUnM1DW
— Boba Cyclist 정 (@BobaCyclist) May 9, 2023
Is that why it’s sitting on the break room table with the other water bottles? pic.twitter.com/tNPm61zgqk
— Bella Chu (@bellachu10) May 9, 2023
it’s crazy that i just made one of those during my break pic.twitter.com/BBUNE1kRZG
— criipt (@criiptiid) May 9, 2023
“That’s why we brought it inside and put it on the break room table next to our bottles of Poland Spring”
— Nurse D, Gardening Fool (@TakeThatNurses) May 9, 2023
You found one unlit molotov cocktail so you had to arrest all the journalists? Seems legit.
— Estarianne, antifa chief of police (@estarianne) May 9, 2023
no i think someone at the bistro jammed their napkin into their fancy water bottle
— Ellen Ring (@JaneOst_) May 9, 2023
— Chef Gaykwon ☭ (@TerceraVenida) May 9, 2023
Oh my god I just spotted another Molotov cocktail!!! Be careful guys!!!!! pic.twitter.com/nwkBBdZS3O
— father of two imagine dragons fans (@a1exnicho1s) May 9, 2023
That’s nothing. I saw a car bomb down down in Manhattan. pic.twitter.com/XcMX2aAtOk
— Damion Schubert – @ZenOfDesign.com on bsky (@ZenOfDesign) May 9, 2023
You’re really leaving that uncapped inside if there is gas in it?
— POWERFUL CRAB FART (@FartCrab) May 9, 2023
I’m not sure I agree with you a hundred percent on your police work, there, Lou.
— Dave Lartigue (@daveexmachina) May 9, 2023
Maybe test the liquid before you decide it’s a Molotov Cocktail. The fact that it was just left on the ground, and there’s no apparent way to light it, suggest that it’s simply a napkin in a not-quite-empty bottle. Snack remnants, not a bomb.
— Emily W. (@invisiblegirl99) May 9, 2023
How far in the recycling bin did you go to find this, nerds
— the they/them causing may/hem (@kyliesparks) May 9, 2023
Damn, you guys really need to keep an eye on all the Mexican restaurants. If a used napkin inside a Topo Chico bottle is a Molotov, I see a dozen molotovs daily.
— Logan Braswell (@loganbraswell) May 9, 2023
the NYPD paired up with Topo Chico for a brand activation but y’all aren’t ready for that conversation
— machine gun corey (@nuclearbbq) May 9, 2023
Topo Chico does seem to be more carbonated than other bubbly waters, but this is excessive. https://t.co/eUeNJSjZiv
— Tea, Books, and Music (@rudetuesday) May 9, 2023
Topo Chico a god tier bubbly water, hangover fixer, and incendiary device https://t.co/kopATDHfPw
— SHERRIE VON DOOM (@citizenrobot) May 9, 2023
As a lover of topo chico, I am highly offended by this NYPD smear campaign.
— Marie Ndiaye (@marie_defender) May 9, 2023
Topo Chico Molotov Cocktail is a beautiful name for a baby girl https://t.co/xNbFBCuHJ0
— Henry White (@Henry_White1996) May 9, 2023
“oh cool, Topo Chico is trending. I’m sure it’s for a fun reason and not for something unbelievably dumb” https://t.co/KA8hi8UVDe
— in another life we were arborists (@VernorsHerzog) May 9, 2023
It’s really a testament to how much everyone hates cops that an NYPD tweet purporting to show how an activist made a Molotov cocktail out of a Topo Chico bottle sparked a debate about what the best type of seltzer is
— Ej Dickson (@ejdickson) May 9, 2023
I think we can conclude two things: 1. The NYPD, the same police department that once claimed Shake Shack employees were poisoning them because they got a tummy ache from a milkshake is goofy AF. And 2. Topo Chico is the greatest carbonated water ever.