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Photo: NYTimes
Protestors at Washington Square Park gather to demand justice for Breonna TaylorPhoto: NYTimes

NYPD arrests small group in protest of police brutality in the West Village

Washington Square Park usually has demonstrators dancing and protesting in small groups. Saturday night, the NYPD felt like interrupting.

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An organized protest by Refuse Fascism NYC was at Washington Square Park at around 7:00 p.m. Saturday Night when a host of NYPD officers broke up the gatherers, took the DJ equipment, and one person's acoustic guitar. 

Christiana Patch, a protestor attending, shared her experience with AL DIA. She said the protest was showing Black joy, not anger, noting there wasn’t any chanting as in other protests. 

“It was really just 10 people dancing and others standing around,” said Patch. 

Most of the 30 people were wearing masks when she said cops gathered across the arch at the park. Without any warning to lower the music or telling the demonstrators to disperse, the cops began confiscating everything. 

They encircled the small group, some were on bikes, some in riot gear with no explanations as to why they had taken their things. In response the protesters marched to the 6th precinct building.

“We were met with even more cops that used an intercom saying ‘move to the side, vacate the street or you’ll be charged with disorderly conduct,” said Patch. “As we moved the cops grabbed their bikes, shoved us, and started arresting people with zip ties.”

In a statement, the police department recounted “a group of roughly 150 demonstrators came to the 6th precinct and blocked traffic,” adding those taken into custody had received multiple warnings prior. 

However,video evidence says otherwise.

“We’re exhausted of seeing video after video, and hearing from constituents in person, or of inexplicable escalations that undermine an already fragile trust,” wrote Senator Brad Hoylman (D-NY-27).

Hoylman added his office is in contact with the NYPD, inquiring about the use of force on the New Yorkers in his district.

Protests continue, throughout New York City and other cities across the country. That same night, hundreds of protestors were on the Brooklyn bridge when 12 of them were arrested. 

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