Please read all the way to the bottom. I added more comments at the end. I know the videos are disturbing of police abusing and attacking people who had not done anything wrong before the police attacked. The police officer in charge was clearly worked up, angry and itching to assault the protesters. He made sure things escalated. The police are acting like a gang now trying to protect their turf.
Notice in one video a guy simply standing there using his phone and a cop walks up and violently knocks it out of his hand to the ground. Who has to pay for the damaged phone? What right did the cop have to do that. It would be an criminal offence non-police did it, it would be a crime if I did that to you. Why is it OK for cops to treat the population like this, are they above the law? Are they now the law, and we have no rights or justice? Hugs
On the same night that NYPD officers stood by while protesters attacked civilians and a journalist during a Borough Park protest against COVID-19 restrictions, the police department arrested four Black Lives Matter activists in Bedford-Stuyvesant for low-level offenses and detained them for two nights before they were released.
Activists said that the arrests started when they tried to observe and film police officers, and spiraled out of control from there.
The evening began with a community meeting and dinner in Herbert von King Park, led by the group Abolition Park, who’d previously occupied the plaza outside city hall during the month of July, according to some who attended.
As dinner was wrapping up and most had left, the remaining activists got word there was a large police presence that had gathered nearby on Gates Avenue. Police confirmed they were trying to “secure the perimeter” of a nearby building, responding to reports of someone with a firearm.
Some of the activists started to film the officers on the scene, who then confronted them. Video shows one high-ranking NYPD officer slapping a phone out of an activist’s hand.
Moments later, 22-year-old Nia Peterson, who was separated from the group, was surrounded by officers as she tried to pass them on the sidewalk. Video posted to social media showed her trip while backing up and falling into a tree. As she clamors to her feet, officers close in and surround her while she screams, “Why are you arresting me?”
Hearing of her detention, a small remaining group of activists went to the 79th Precinct to demand her release. Two went inside to ask what had happened, according to 32-year-old Victoria, who declined to give her last name, and was waiting outside.
“We weren’t pushing. We weren’t being violent. We weren’t blocking the streets. We were standing on the sidewalk,” she said. “I really feel like it was a lawful assembly and we were applying pressure for the release of our friend.”
Vineeta, a 21-year-old activist who also declined to give her last name, had gone into the precinct to get information on the arrests, and said she was stonewalled by officers for several minutes before they started donning riot gear. She said that three officers grabbed her and dragged her out of the precinct. Outside, NYPD officers had surrounded the small group of activists with metal barricades and started shoving them. The NYPD confirmed they made three more arrests.
Police say 18-year-old Angel Rivera punched two officers and that they pepper-sprayed him while he resisted arrest. He was taken to Woodhull Hospital, according to the NYPD. Three NYPD officers were treated for injuries at Bellevue Hospital, two for punches, and one for a sprained ankle, after someone pushed them, the NYPD said.
But activists disputed the police department’s claims, saying Rivera had been violently attacked during his arrest. A video shared with Gothamist showed Rivera being tackled to the ground by two officers, while onlookers scream.
“They assaulted Angel,” said Vineeta. “He had his arms behind his back they were dragging him and punching him.”
Vineeta said she was shoved by an officer in riot gear, and the combination of that and watching her friend being attacked, physically sickened her.
“I was vomiting,” she said. “I saw them f*cking up Angel and my whole body went into shock.”
The four activists spent more than 30 hours in NYPD custody—first in the 79th Precinct and later at Brooklyn Central Booking, following their arrest Wednesday night. Three of them had been released on Friday, while Rivera was still in custody as of 5 p.m., according to activists and attorneys.
Peterson, whose arrest while attempting to film NYPD officers led to the confrontation outside the precinct, was released late Friday morning, after being arraigned on charges of obstructing governmental administration, disorderly conduct, and consumption of alcohol in public, according to activists and prosecutors.
A second activist, Emma Rehac, 18, was charged with obstructing governmental administration, criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree for allegedly having a bottle of Adderall, according to a criminal complaint. Jaffari Williams Fox, 22, was also charged with obstruction. Angel Rivera, 18, was charged with assault, obstruction and harassment and had bail set at $5,000, according to prosecutors.
Janie Williams, a criminal defense attorney who was advocating for them before they were assigned a court-appointed lawyer at arraignment, said they spent over 20 hours in the precinct, before being transferred to Brooklyn Central Booking, which is virtually unheard of. In New York, defendants are supposed to be arraigned within 24 hours of being arrested for a crime.
Williams pointed out that three of the four protesters faced low-level charges and that the NYPD could have issued tickets and released them, instead of detaining them for more than a day. When Williams went to the 79th Precinct to serve papers invoking their rights to an attorney, she said she watched as police officers inside threw them into the trash.
“I have never seen that in my entire life,” Williams said. “They literally threw their constitutional rights in the garbage and had no problem doing that.”
Williams added she thought the excessively long detention was intentional.
“It’s deliberate hazing that seems to be taking place, specifically targeting this community,” she said. “They are deliberating targeting these young people.”
That same night, a violent demonstration was occuring in Borough Park, where a crowd of ultra-Orthodox Jewish protesters, egged on by right wing provocateur Heshy Tischler, attacked journalists and people perceived as dissenters in the crowd. During two nights of unrest, the NYPD issued no arrests or summonses, though the mayor has subsequently promised an arrest of those who attacked reporter Jacob Kornbluh.
The NYPD didn’t return a request for comment on how they handled the Borough Park protesters compared to Black Lives Matter demonstrations.
In mid-September, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the NYPD should have “clear ground rules, usable ground rules,” on when to enact arrests during protests. When asked about those ground rules Friday, the NYPD and the Mayor’s Office pointed to guidance released on Thursday detailing how protests inside COVID-19 hot-zones would be policed.
“What we have here is something where we absolutely must have consistency of response,” Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters on Thursday.
“We have to ensure that all communities are treated the same way.”
The US is becoming a police state. Like other strong arm nations the US now has police that are an occupying army whose function is to keep the status quo for the dictating wealthy powers. These police are abusing every right and our very own constitution. Notice they attacked and charged someone for filming them. For recording their abuses. That is a crime now to record police breaking the laws on public streets? Notice the police officer in charge dressed in a white shirt was swearing at the protestors yelling you fuckers have picked the wrong people to mess with, and calling them insulting and derogatory names. The police are now demanding instant respect or you are arrested, held for a long time, and maybe just released, as if it is a game to the police. The police are now taking it on themselves to assign punishments, why wait for due process and the legal system. This is what they have been doing to POC all along, now they are doing it to everyone openly and with anger and pride. So much for serve and protect, now the police are acting like rulers and thugs. The police have become violent gangs taking over.
On a side note remembered all those 2nd amendment people claiming they need their guns to stand up to the fascist government take over to deny them their rights? Well here it is , happening on video in front of them. Where are these people to stop the police gangs? They are with the police gangs, the fascist cops, cheering on the denying of civil rights and the destruction of legal protections. Hugs