The New York Police Department has received backlash after dozens of arrests were made during a Martin Luther King Jr. Day march Monday.
Videos were posted online of clashes between the police and protesters at night during the march with an activist claiming the police were “attacking protesters at City Hall Park.”
NYPD attacking protesters at City Hall Park pic.twitter.com/BHtH76kyde— Isabelle Leyva (@isabelle_leyva) January 19, 2021
There were 29 people arrested during the protest and 11 officers were injured, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea told NY1. The officers did not sustain serious injuries.
The protest was the “antithesis of what Martin Luther King stood for," Shea told NY1, according to The New York Post. “On such a day that we’re honoring Martin Luther King, [we have] demonstrations that consist of violence, throwing bottles, breaking property, calling for the death of officers [and] to burn the city down.”
The protesters are facing charges for disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and blocking a roadway.
Jordan Plaza, a protester at the march, told The New York Times that protesters weren’t “approaching the police in a violent manner” and that the police “ randomly surged.”
The protest was to honor Martin Luther King Jr. and to call for racial and social justice.
New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit on Jan. 14 against the NYPD for their handling of the racial justice protests over the summer. Many believe that police around the country used an excessive amount of force to handle the protests in the summer.