Local Leaders Call On Mayor To Address Clashes Between NYPD, Peaceful Protesters

Mack Rosenberg
June 05, 2020 - 6:08 pm

    NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Local leaders from around the city on Friday continued to call on Mayor Bill de Blasio to do something about the clashes between the NYPD and non-violent protesters after curfew.

    City Councilman Brad Lander was among those marching in Brooklyn after the 8 p.m. curfew and he says things were largely peaceful until the NYPD stepped in and escalated the situation.

    “If you impose an 8 o'clock curfew, you're instructing people to go out and march down violently,” Lander told the mayor.

    He says around 10 p.m., the NYPD suddenly turned from protecting the protesters to attacking them.

    “All of the sudden, out of nowhere, cops just surged into the crowd, grabbed some protesters, in one case grabbed some journalists,” he explains. “There was no threat in looting, there was no violence.”

    Public Advocate Jumaane Williams was also in the crowd. He and Lander helped to deescalate the situation, but Williams says that is not enough.

    He wants the mayor to acknowledge the police force is acting violently and put an end to it.

    “To hear the mayor continue saying that nothing wrong is happening when literally there's videos and videos. I have seen it with my own eyes. I've experienced not violent protests met with aggression,” he explains.

    On Wednesday, Williams posted videos to his Twitter account showing police officers allegedly using batons and penning in some protesters.

    He said Friday that he witnessed the same situation in videos on Thursday night.

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    "Last night from Brooklyn to Buffalo, we saw still more instances of New York law enforcement officers aggressively engaging with nonviolent protesters making their voices heard against over-policing,” he said.

    In a statement, Williams wrote: "I ask the Mayor, the Governor, have you finally seen what's happening? The images are unavoidable, as is the reality. Only immediate de-escalation, allowing people their voice, and imminent systemic change, will prevent these incidents from continuing. Only by denying their severity, or their existence, can you continue this failure and inaction.”

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