“I want that I may say what I noticed immediately was stunning, however how may I fairly anticipate anything from the NYPD?” Jake Tolan, one of many march organizers, said in a statement. “51 years after the Stonewall Rise up, the NYPD remains to be responding to peaceable, highly effective, righteous queer pleasure with pepper spray, batons, and handcuffs.” He added that this incident reveals why the police division should be abolished.
The assertion, shared on the Reclaim Pride Coalition web site, additionally detailed the sequence of occasions that happened on Sunday. Protesters have been coming into the park when an officer stepped ahead to arrest a marcher, the assertion stated. Not realizing why the marcher was being arrested, a crowd gathered and chanted, “Let him go,” sparking a violent response from officers, the assertion added. “Abruptly, a big crowd of NYPD officers rushed in and attacked with pepper spray. All that did was enhance the gang yelling at them to ‘go residence,’ whereas marchers nursed their pepper spray wounds. One NYPD member reached out to slam a lady on a bicycle to the bottom. Different marchers have been punched and violently shoved.”
A number of witnesses shared that the march was “peaceable” previous to the arrival of officers who allegedly started beating protesters close to the historic Stonewall Inn. Marti Gould Cummings, who’s working for New York’s metropolis council, shared their recollection of the incident with BuzzFeed News Sunday. “I used to be leaving Washington Sq.—there was a fantastic rally centering round Black trans girls. As we have been leaving, we seen a commotion instantly in entrance of us and realized it was the police,” Cummings stated. “Individuals have been chanting ‘don’t shoot’ and lots of took a knee. The police escalated and used pepper spray and batons,” they added. One other witness instructed the information outlet that officers started to retreat when protesters linked arms and created a barricade to guard each other from the violence.
“The NYPD goes ballistic,” a witness livestreaming the incident on Facebook stated. “The state of affairs was at some extent the place this was nearly Stonewall 2,” the witness added. “There was an extreme quantity of police as soon as the march received right here. “
A spokesman for the NYPD confirmed to NBC News that three people have been arrested for allegedly assaulting officers. Whereas one was charged with creating graffiti, the opposite two have been charged with resisting arrests and assaulting an officer, the spokesman stated.
The NYPD has not issued any apology or commented on the usage of extreme pressure on protesters. Who is aware of if such an apology will even come throughout this decade. It wasn’t till final yr that Police Commissioner James O’Neill apologized for the NYPD’s actions in the course of the 1969 Stonewall riots.
Earlier within the day on Sunday, New York Metropolis Mayor Invoice de Blasio tweeted in honor of the anniversary of town’s Delight march, however has not but commented on the NYPD’s actions of extreme pressure and police brutality Sunday. “On the 50th Anniversary of #PrideMarch and the 51st Anniversary of Stonewall, NYC celebrates the Black, trans activists who constructed the motion and proceed to steer immediately,” de Blasio stated.
“We’re horrified and livid on the brutal police assault on peaceable marchers utilizing pepper spray, violent shoving, and arrests,” a spokesperson for the Queer Liberation March instructed BuzzFeed Information. “On the precise second that Mayor de Blasio tweeted about honoring Stonewall and the LGBTQIA+ rights motion, the NYPD utterly overreacted with unprovoked bodily violence—together with pepper-spraying their own colleagues.” Witnesses on the incident recalled cops pepper-spraying not solely protesters however a medic pouring water into the eyes of two officers who have been sprayed as nicely, Gothamist reported.
The NYPD’s reckless actions comply with different latest incidents of violence towards peaceable protesters. Final month, Daily Kos reported an incident wherein a lady suffered a “severe seizure” and concussion after an NYPD officer shoved her throughout a protest on racial injustice. The incident was captured on video.