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Rallying cries: Cops, protesters injured at police reform march

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Protesters calling for police reform clashed with officers as they marched down Flatbush Avenue to Grand Army Plaza on Tuesday, leading to multiple arrests and injuries on both sides.

Authorities arrested 42 people citywide, according to police, although it was not clear how many of those arrests occurred in Brooklyn. The demonstrators snarled traffic and a spokeswoman claimed protesters assaulted two officers in the melee, but police were nevertheless disproportionately forceful in their response to what was an otherwise peaceful rally, said one activist.

“It was obviously a display of violence against a peaceful protest,” said Keegan Stephan, a bicycle rights activist who documented the protest on social media. “Even if the allegations of an officer being assaulted are true, taking it out on an entire mass of people is an uncalled for and violent escalation.”

The march into Brooklyn was a splinter from a larger demonstration organized to revive the police reform protests of last fall, which roiled the city for weeks following the decision by grand juries in Missouri and Staten Island to not indict police officers in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Tuesday’s protest came on the heels of the deaths of several more black men at the hands of police, including Walter Scott, who was shot in the back as he fled a traffic stop in South Carolina earlier this month.

At least one protester was transported to New York Methodist Hospital in Park Slope after injuring her ribs in a scrum with police at the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Sterling Place, Stephan said. Video taken at the scene and shared on Twitter shows an officer shoving the woman, causing her to fall and strike her ribs against a metal railing, resulting in bruising and possible fractured ribs, according to Stephan, who said he was with his friend at Methodist Hospital until her discharge at 1 am. He said he believes the officer was trying to injure, not apprehend, the woman.

“They didn’t try to arrest her, they were just pushing and grabbing and brutalizing,” he said.

Protesters assaulted two cops during the rally, and the officers were treated at local hospitals for knee, head, and back injuries, according to a police spokeswoman. Mayor DeBlasio, who police union leaders criticized last year for appearing to be soft on protesters, condemned violence against police.

“Any other person who might use the right to peaceful protest as cover to initiate violence, cause mayhem or incite disorder — whether against the police, the people, or property of our great city — should consider themselves on notice that New York City will not stand for it,” he said. “Anyone who decides foolishly to engage in such destructive acts can expect a swift arrest and aggressive prosecution. As I have said before, such activity is beneath the dignity of New York City.”

At least one member of the press was arrested in Brooklyn, a cameraman with a NYPD-issued press pass that was visible.

Video taken shortly before the photographer’s arrest shows the man well out of the center of the road, jogging away from police while filming the scene. Photographs on social media show police detaining another credentialed journalist on the Brooklyn Bridge.

The man in question is the red-head wearing sunglasses and a black jacket holding a small videocamera.

Reach reporter Noah Hurowitz at nhurowitz@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–4505. Follow him on Twitter @noahhurowitz
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

ty from pps says:
don't cry!
April 15, 2015, 3:58 pm
S says:
IN the first video, the police officer is not the one shoving the lady; a person in a blue and white jogging suit who is standing NEXT to the police officer shoves the lady; watch the upper lefthand corner of the video carefully, and you'll see, it's not the police officer, but a man standing next to him.
April 15, 2015, 10:30 pm
tom from clinton hill says:
I saw the jogging suit thing, sure looks like it wasn't the police. But the whole thing looks like intimidation by the police against protestors. They blockaded the PEDESTRIAN walk on the Brooklyn Bridge first, clearly illegal. And how much did it cost taxpayers to have several hundred officers and at least 4 police helicopters on service, rolling arrest busses, etc. And for what? Plain old threats!

Let's see if DeBlasio will finally grow a pair and stand up to the cops!
April 16, 2015, 11:50 am
Ace from New Utrecht says:
"the right of the people peaceably to assemble" trumps your "right"to operate an automobile.

We really need to begin nationwide steroid testing of police.
April 16, 2015, 11:59 am
Bob from Ft Greene says:
The people can assemble somewhere besides in my way. Their right to assemble does not trump my right to go about my own business more peacefully than they are going about theirs.

For once, I wish some news source would report how hard a wrist slap the arrestees got (if any).
April 16, 2015, 4:20 pm
ty from pps says:
Yes, Bob. Protest has never accomplished any progress is society. The "right" to blithely go along with the status quo and "go about my own business" is the true hallmark of a healthy society. As long as you're fine, Bob. That's all that matters.
April 18, 2015, 10:09 am

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