Recently released body cam footage of the incident shows the vile, heinous and cowardly attack.
An indictment was returned today in federal court in Brooklyn charging Dzenan Camovic with robbery and firearms offenses for his June 3, 2020 knife and firearm attack on multiple New York City Police Department (NYPD) police officers in Brooklyn.
As set forth in the court filings, the defendant, a Bosnian national in the United States illegally, was motivated to attack the officers because of his interest in and support for violent Islamist extremism.
“Dzenan Camovic, an illegal alien and Bosnian national, is alleged to have used the cover of chaos during recent civil unrest in New York City to launch a premeditated and cowardly attack from behind against two New York City Police officers, brutally slashing one with a knife, stealing his weapon and opening fire, and injuring several responding officers,” stated Attorney General Barr. “We know that Camovic repeatedly yelled, ‘Allahu Akbar’ during his attack.
“We know that he possessed a significant volume of materials that demonstrates his interest in and support for violent Islamist extremism, including materials related to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). But the defendant’s access to the dark web and his use of encrypted communication platforms has created evidentiary roadblocks to fully learning his plans and who he discussed them with. This is the second violent Islamist extremist attack on our land in the last nine months where the attacker used encrypted technology that can help cover his tracks and mask his communications. If not for the heroism and bravery of the responding NYPD officers who returned fire and took the assailant down early in the attack, untold additional officers and innocents could have been killed or injured.
“As we have alleged in the indictment and set forth in related filings, just before midnight on June 3, 2020, the defendant launched a surprise attack on police officers standing post on the streets of Brooklyn, nearly ending their lives. After stabbing a police officer in the neck, the defendant ripped a 9mm service pistol away from an officer and shot at the officers while perversely invoking religion,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney DuCharme.
“Our society has never tolerated this type of behavior, and today’s federal charges will ensure Mr. Camovic isn’t a threat to society again,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney.
On the evening of June 3, 2020, in the midst of a public health emergency and while New York City was under a nightly curfew order, the defendant allegedly carried out his attack on NYPD police officers who were assigned to an anti-looting post near the intersection of Flatbush and Church Avenues in Brooklyn, New York. At approximately 11:30 p.m., Camovic walked past two uniformed police officers on foot patrol and appeared to crouch for several minutes watching them. Security footage shows that Camovic then moved around the block in an apparent effort to approach the two police officers from behind.
At approximately 11:50 p.m., Camovic rounded the corner from Flatbush Avenue onto Church Avenue and stabbed one of the officers (“Officer 1”) in the neck with a knife. After stabbing the first officer (“Officer 1”), Camovic chased the second officer (“Officer 2”), lunging at him and attempting to stab him. Camovic then ran back to Officer 1, attacked him, forcibly took control of Officer 1’s firearm and fired multiple shots at Officer 2 and other officers who had responded to the scene. Responding officers ultimately shot Camovic and took him into custody. Several officers were wounded during Camovic’s attack and robbery, including Officer 2 who was shot in the hand.
During his attack on the police officers, Camovic repeatedly shouted “Allahu Akbar,” a common Arabic phrase meaning “God is the greatest,” that has been used by perpetrators of violent jihadist terror attacks during the commission of violent attacks. The government’s investigation has revealed that, prior to the attack, Camovic possessed a significant volume of radical jihadist propaganda.