Hundreds gather in Brooklyn to protest the NYPD after a violent subway video
Hundreds of people marched through downtown Brooklyn for hours to protest what they described as continuous brutality by the New York Police Department.
Protesters chanted “no justice, no peace” Friday night as they marched by the Barclays Center arena, where the NBA team Brooklyn Nets play. The protests came days after a video shared widely on social media showed officers fighting with teens at a subway station in the city, according to CNN affiliate WABC. In addition to protesting the police, the marchers also accused the subway system of over-policing, the affiliate said. Protesters hurled profanities at officers, confronted them at the subway station and spray-painted their cars with slogans such as RIP Eric Garner — the man who was choked by a New York police officer in 2014. Those taking part in the protest highlighted a recent video that shows police breaking up a fight among teens at a metro station. In the video, an officer can be seen punching a 15-year-old boy, the affiliate reported.
The officer involved in the altercation has been assigned to non-enforcement duty pending the investigation, the affiliate reported. The NYPD has said not everything was captured on video, and there’s more to the incident.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams slammed the officer’s actions after the video emerged.
“You’re not in a boxing match. That is not the goal and what I saw in that video is clearly outside of any training that I ever received in the police department,” he said.
The NYPD said in a statement: “The NYPD does not interfere with Constitutionally-protected activities, and works to ensure public safety as New Yorkers exercise their First Amendment rights. Over the last five years, the NYPD has focused on precision policing. Our anti-gun and anti-violence strategies, coupled with our Neighborhood Policing philosophy, have allowed our officers to build stronger relationships with the community and drive crime down to historic lows while successfully bringing the most violent offenders to justice.”
The protests follow another rally in July, the anniversary of Garner’s death. It took place a day after the Justice Department said it was declining to bring federal charges against the former New York police officer who was accused of fatally chokingGarner. That officer, Daniel Pantaleo, last week filed a lawsuit against the NYPD over his subsequent termination.
Protesters demanded justice for Garner and called for Pantaleo and other officers to be fired, directing anger at New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We are Eric Garner. We need justice and we need it now,” the crowd chanted.