A Black Lives Matter protest in Midtown Manhattan turned violent, leaving 2 policemen injured and about a dozen protesters arrested. The New York Police Department (NYPD) reported that the march on Friday night turned violent after some of the protestors started attacking media personnel.
The protest march in New York was attended by around 100 people, and some of those attackers are accused of turning on the Daily News photographer San Constanza on the mistaken belief that he was a policeman. The incident took place at the intersection of Sixth Avenue and 54th Street.
Black Lives Matter Protest Turns Violent, 11 Arrested
Sources cite that the photographer was surrounded by a group of marchers and was attacked by one of them after some of the marchers recognized him from another Black Lives Matter protest last year outside NYPD’s 6th Precinct House in Greenwich Village.
It is believed that about a dozen protestors cracked down on San Costanza, pushing and hitting him after one of them yelled to fellow protestors about him being a cop. The agitated protestors hit the photographer with their fists and other objects.
The NYPD was well prepared for the protests which had around 100 demonstrators. The NYPD confirmed the violent attack, citing that a member of the media was attacked during the protests, with the cops making a number of arrests.
San Costanza was injured with a bloody nose, but was otherwise not seriously injured. The photographer is now having declined medical attention, as per police sources.
The anti-police protests took place outside New York Hilton at around 6 pm, and is the latest of such incidents which can be traced back to the George Floyd protests last year summer when masses of protestors came down to the street to protest against the death of a Black American at the hands of a police officer in Minnepolis. Video footage of the attack showed how Floyd kept pleading to the officer to lift his knee from his throat as he was unable to breathe and was suffocated to death shortly after, as the police officer had knelt on his throat for nearly eight minutes and prevented passer-byes from intervening.
The protests spread like wildfire, starting as a local Minneapolis conglomeration before spreading to over 2,000 US cities and then to 60 nations worldwide. The country has since witnessed protests in every part of the country with some of them turning violent due to clashes between local law enforcement agencies and the protestors.
Police said that protestors were peaceful as the march began, as videos posted on Twitter showed onlooking policemen watching as protestors started burning a flag outside the NYPD’s Times Square kiosk.
The commotion started when a protestor was arrested on Sixth Avenue with other protestors turning violent and attempting to incite the policemen. After some scuffling between the cops and protestors, several people were arrested by the NYPD.
According to Sam Costanza, the Daily News photographer, he was assaulted by 10 to 15 protestors during the brawl having received a broken nose.
Authorities said that along with 2 policemen receiving minor injuries, 2 police vehicles were also vandalized by the group of protestors.
The role of NYPD and other local law enforcement agencies in policing protests have turned tricky, since last year when felons started using the march as a guise of loot goods from shops by breaking in the window glass in plain sight.
Some of those thieves were identified as an Antifa related autonomous group that used sophisticated methods like tools and vehicles to pilfer goods and transporting them in their vehicles.