58 People Arrested in Anti-NYPD Protest

NYPD police officers at the Harlem protest.
Photo by Afia Eama

Police arrested 58 people after Friday night’s protest against increased policing in the subways. 

Hundreds of people gathered to protest at 5:30 p.m. in front of the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Building and marched uptown. Emergency personnel were scattered throughout Harlem and often clashed with protesters. 

“Yesterday, we survived the police riots and kidnappings,” said a spokesperson from Decolonize This Place. “We are committed. We won’t stop. We are not afraid. This movement only grows in numbers.” 

Decolonize This Place organized Friday’s protest following the anti-NYPD march in Downtown Brooklyn on Nov. 2. An action-oriented group, its goal is to end what they see as the harassment of vendors and people, promote free transit and to keep the NYPD out of the MTA.

The activists warned protesters that they could be arrested because they did not get a permit for the protest. Police used cable-ties, or fasteners, to arrest the protestors who faced charges of disorderly conduct and failure to comply with lawful orders. 

The protests came after Governor Cuomo’s plan to add 500 police officers in the subway next year in support of the MTA’s fare-evasion campaign. Multiple videos of violent policing also prompted people to march in the cold Friday night. 

“There is no excuse for the excessive use of force and hyper-aggressive policing,” said Public Advocate Jumaane Willams during a news conference. 

Willams is referring to the viral videos of police pulling guns on fare-beaters, fighting teenagers and handcuffing women selling churros. 

As the crowd made their way through Harlem to the Bronx, they chanted “FTP, F— the police,” “Whose streets? Our streets” and “How do you spell racist? N-Y-P-D.” 

Police blocked entry to multiple stations as the 4, 5 and 6 trains temporarily skipped 125 Street per NYPD’s request. They tweeted an advisory warning commuters about the mass transit disruptions and vehicular traffic in the area. 

The protesters, carrying signs reading “NYPD out of MTA” and “Free Transit,” shut down traffic on the Third Avenue Bridge in the Bronx.

The march ended around 8:30 p.m. but many protesters headed to police headquarters to rally for those who had been arrested. A majority were released while 11 were held for arraignment until Saturday. 

Decolonize This Place tweeted earlier today that all of the protesters were released. 

All photos by Afia Eama.

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