The Black Lives Matter movement has sparked protests all over the country with thousands of people taking to streets, calling for police reform in light of the string of deaths at the law enforcement officials including Breonna Taylor and Geroge Floyd. As a result, there has been an increasing number of incidents involving violent altercations between protesters and police officers. Now, a newly released report released this week shows that a New York City police officers planned an assault and mass arrest of protesters in a Bronx neighborhood.
The Human Rights Watch has published a new report highlighting an incident on June 4, there was a planned assault and mass arrest of peaceful protesters in Mott Haven led by a high-ranking uniformed officer, Chief of Department Terence Monahan, in response to protests sparked by the death of George Floyd.
The new report and video show scenes from the event as well as testimonies from protesters who then got into violent clashes with NYPD officers. “Then it’s kind of all a blur,” one protester said in the report detailing how law enforcement officials breaking their finger and proceeding to douse them with pepper spray. “Then they dragged me on the ground and beat me with batons,” he said. “Somewhere in the process of being cuffed, I had a knee on my neck.”
Police arrest 263 people with the organization stating that the protest had remained peaceful until the police showed up and began to violently retaliate.“The New York City police blocked people from leaving before the curfew and then used the curfew as an excuse to beat, abuse, and arrest people who were protesting peacefully,” said Ida Sawyer, co-author of the report and Crisis and Conflict Director at Human Rights Watch. “It was a planned operation with no justification that could cost New York taxpayers millions of dollars.”
“Instead of cracking down on peaceful protesters and stifling their calls for change, policymakers in New York City and across the country should listen to their demands,” Sawyer added. “Local governments should finally do what it takes to end the structural racism and systemic police abuse that people in Mott Haven and communities like it have long experienced.”