NYPD says this empty bottle of mineral water was a Molotov Cocktail

Originally published at: NYPD says this empty bottle of mineral water was a Molotov Cocktail | Boing Boing


Sure Jan GIF


That’s just the two most-benign ingredients for a Molotov cocktail: glass bottle, and a rag. I think the public can be forgiven for not trusting the NYPD on this claim until there’s bodycam footage that shows at least the same bottle with flammable liquid in it.


i am not a “we should just believe the cops” kind of guy, but can’t you make a molotov cocktail from any glass bottle or jar, regardless of what it previously held? making the argument that because it is a glass water bottle therefore unlikely to be used as a molotov cocktail doesn’t make any sense to me.


I doubt anyone is contesting the elements but, “This is a Molotov Cocktail” is considerably different from may be used as. There could be a number of explanations including your intimation that a cop may have found a bottle and a rag, not necessarily in the same place and, why only one? MCs are usually a bulk item.


But @thomdunn seems a little too invested in the original contents, as if MC’s have labels that say they contain flammable liquid.

It is not “a bottle of Topo Chico carbonated mineral water” as he claims. It is a ‘Topo Chico carbonated mineral water bottle’ - a small but very significant difference.

And it’s empty of any liquid, making text in the rest of that paragraph rather irrelevant.

Carbonated Mineral Water, however, is not flammable. In fact you could even use it to help put out a fire (though still water is probably a better idea).

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I think the point is that it’s very suspicious that there’s only one, and that single one isn’t made out of the most readily-available material one would use for a molotov. It’s not impossible, but it seems a lot more likely that a cop put this together from trash and lied about it than that somebody brought a single molotov made from an empty water bottle to a peaceful protest (and then didn’t bother to use it, either).


And aren’t topo bottles pretty thick glass that makes it even less suitable as material for a molotov cocktail?

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“ACAB, Daddy?”
“Yes, child, ACAB.”


I’m not an expert on molotov cocktails by any degree, but it being thick glass with a narrow, hard to fill neck and only 12 oz so it couldn’t hold much flammable liquid means it probably wouldn’t be my first choice if I were trying to make one. Maybe some of those are desirable traits for reasons I’m not aware of, or maybe it could be argued that a water bottle is easier to conceal, but it still seems vastly more likely to me that the NYPD is just making it up to justify their brutality against an unarmed crowd.


My point was more that this is a lot more conspicuously questionable than an empty glass liquor or wine bottle with a piece of a fabric stuffed inside. I tried to acknowledge that in the following paragraph, that is indeed entirely possible that someone stuffed a 12oz thick glass mineral water bottle with some gasoline or everclear.

Logically, we are faced with two options here:

  • A police officer found a glass bottle that once contained carbonated mineral water, and now had a piece of fabric in it, and assumed the absolute worst possible scenario, in accordance with their training.


  • Some insurgent instigator looking for action had enough time to funnel Everclear into a single Topo Chico bottle but not enough time to plan any other kind of violence, and also failed to ignite the alleged weapon anyway.

Occam’s Razor tells me that the first option is much, much more likely.


But it isn’t. A glass bottle is a glass bottle as far as MC makers are concerned.

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Is it? Topo bottles are more likely to bounce than break, and don’t have a screw top lid.


Ceci n’est pas une bouteille en verre :thinking:


I am not familiar with the attributes of this type of bottle, which were not noted in the article, and might have been if they were relevant.
Not sure what the type of top/lid has to do wth it, the ‘lid’ of an MC is the bit of cloth stick out of the top of the bottle, isn’t it?
But your comment on the nature of the bottle does - slightly more than Thom’s article - suggest the possibility that this may not have been the ideal first choice bottle type for an MC.

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You still have to fill and transport it. Unless you’re using it right then, having the wick exposed seems ill-advised.

And from wikipedia:

A Molotov cocktail is a glass bottle containing a flammable substance such as petrol (gasoline), alcohol or a napalm-like mixture and a source of ignition, such as a burning cloth wick, held in place by the bottle’s stopper


Ah - I’m more used to the old-style, ‘make it on the street and throw it immediately, MC’ - not the ‘make for later storage and used a stopper’ variety. :wink:

If you’re making it on the street, isn’t the bottle label very relevant? Vodka bottle with cloth in it, that’s at least somewhat reasonable. Water bottle? Where’d the flammable fluid come from?


Jerry can.

(ETA or half the contents of the other vodka bottle.)

Which they would’ve trotted out.