Manhattan, NY – Rioters called for the deaths of police, destroyed property, and hurled glass bottles at officers during a violent Martin Luther King Jr. Day march on Monday.
At least 11 officers were injured and 29 rioters were arrested during the mass gathering, WPIX reported.
New York Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Dermot Shea denounced the chaos, calling it “the antithesis of what Martin Luther King stood for.”
The Black Liberation March kicked off outside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and proceeded across the Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall Park, WABC reported.
“It is a form of resilience, being on that bridge, taking it over,” 27-year-old march participant Hani Bello told The New York Times. “To feel resilient is part of black liberation.”
— Miles G. Jackson (@milesjee) January 19, 2021
A wall of police met them outside City Hall, WABC reported.
The mob began throwing bottles and destroying property as they blocked traffic and fought with officers.
At least one video from the scene showed rioters repeatedly calling police “f—king animals.”
“You’re f—king psychopaths, all of you!” one rioter yelled. “You feel good about yourself? You go home and you feel good before you f—king beat your wife, you f—king scumbags?”
NYPD attacking protesters at City Hall Park pic.twitter.com/BHtH76kyde
— Isabelle Leyva (@isabelle_leyva) January 19, 2021
One officer was hit in the helmet by a bottle, police said, according to WABC.
The suspect responsible for the assault has not been apprehended.
“People need to finally come down to the truth here and say whatever this is it certainly does not resemble a peaceful protest,” Commissioner Shea said, according to the Associated Press.
Most of the dozens of rioters who were arrested during the melee face charges of blocking the roadway, resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration, and disorderly conduct, WABC reported.
City Hall was very crazy tonight. I'm not sure how else to describe it. A ton of arrests. The cops would not let up with the sporadic violence, and protesters refused to take it sitting down.
— Chris Gelardi (@chrisgelardi) January 19, 2021
March participant Jordan Plaza, 20, said only a small fraction of the group had moved into the roadway when police warned them they would be arrested if they didn’t get out of the street, The New York Times reported.
“They weren’t approaching the police in a violent manner,” Plaza argued. “Police randomly surged.”
She further noted that Monday’s clash with police looked much different than the way rioters were handled during the U.S. Capitol building riot on Jan. 6.
“It baffles me because the Capitol building, they were able to get in,” Plaza told The New York Times. “Here, they were protesting outside a courthouse.”