New York, NY – New York Police Department (NYPD) officials are ramping up coverage in the areas mostly likely to be affected by an expected anti-police, anti-subway fare protest on Friday.
The disruptive demonstration is not the first of its kinda in New York City in recent months.
Backers ginned up their enthusiasm and advocated protests again after 500 new subway cops were sworn in to the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) on Jan. 23 despite activists’ demands for a free transit system without law enforcement officers, the New York City Patch reported.
A police-hating, pro-Palestinian, Black Lives Matter-associated group tweeting under the handle “DecolonizeThisPlace” posted a video to Twitter on Tuesday calling for protesters to “f–k s–t up on J31” (Jan. 31).
“The streets are ours. The trains our ours. The walls are ours. This moment is ours. How will you and your crew build and f–k shit up for #FTP3 on #J31 (THIS FRIDAY)? Issa mothaf–kin’ movement,”
The video featured three masked protesters, one of whom delivered a message to those whom he hoped would join their violent demonstration.
“To all our friends, families, students, wage workers, teachers, musicians, transit workers,” the video began. “F–k the Police 3 is coming J31 right here in New York City. We encourage you to link up with your friends, your family, and think of the ways you can more in affinity to build and f–k s–t up on J31 all day long.”
“Pay attention to our social media where we’re going to post the meet up location so that we can converge and move together later that evening,” he added in the video.
“The mood for J31 is simple: F–k your $2.75. No cops in the MTA. Free transit. No harassment, period. And full accessibility,” the masked protester said. “We hope that you come through and move with us on J31. F–k the police. What will you do on J31?”
The end of the video showed the “city-wide convergence” was planned for 5 p.m. on Jan. 31 at Grand Central Terminal.
NYPD sources told Blue Lives Matter that precincts in areas likely to be affected were staffing up for Friday with a goal of stopping problems before they have a chance to occur.
“The protest in Brooklyn in November was messy because we weren’t expecting what happened,” the source said. “This time we know what’s coming and I think we’re prepared.”
He said that there had been several attempts at anti-police, anti-fare protests after the Nov. 1, 2019 brouhaha when more than 1,000 protesters jumped turnstiles and swamped Brooklyn subway stations.
However, none of the subsequent protests have been successful at disrupting transit in the city.
The initial protest was sparked by two videos that emerged of two different incidents involving NYPD officers and teenagers, a few hours apart in two different subway stations, on Oct. 25, 2019, WABC reported.
The first incident occurred when NYPD officers responded to break up a fight between two groups of teenagers on the platform of the Jay Street- MetroTech subway station.
The video showed a police officer punching one teen and taking a swing at another in the middle of the melee, WCBS reported.
Several teens were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and assaulting a police officer.
After the cell phone video of the fight was posted to social media, anti-police activists were furious and demanded action.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams has called for the termination of the officer who punched the teens in the video, WCBS reported.
“To me, he went beyond the call of duty,” Adams said. “You’re not in a boxing match. That is not the goal and what I saw in that video is clearly outside of any training that I ever received in the police department.
“He took a chaotic situation that police had under control and he almost turned it into a riot situation based on his actions,” he told WCBS.
NYPD released a statement that said the officer who punched the teen had been put on desk duty pending the resolution of an investigation into the incident.
The second incident was captured on video at the Franklin Street subway stop just a few miles away.
The video showed police outside a stopped subway car with its doors still closed, and passengers moving away from the part of the car where the cell phone camera was focused.
In the video, at least one officer on the platform can be seen pointing a gun at the window of the occupied subway car, the New York Post reported.
Once the train cleared, a young man was sat alone on a seat facing the officers outside the subway car, with both of his hands in the air.
After a moment, the doors of the train car opened and two officers rushed in and took the teen to the ground, the video showed.
Then no less than 10 additional officers rushed into the subway car, several with their guns drawn or just starting to return their weapons to their holsters.
NYPD defended the officer in a statement and said that police had chased the suspect – 19-year-old Adrian Napier – into the Pacific Street subway station after a witness reported that he had brandished a gun near Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues, the New York Post reported.
No gun was found on Napier when he was arrested, but NYPD said the suspect is a known member of the Crips street gang and has been arrested 14 times in the past for crimes including assault, robbery, and grand larceny.
Napier was charged with theft of services for jumping a turnstile and taken in for questioning in an unrelated larceny case, the New York Post reported.
Organizers of the J31 march have posted advice on social media for their protesters, including tips on how to vandalize farecard readers on turnstiles.
Random signs have also appeared in various locations across the city urging citizens to take back the transit system on Jan. 31.
Watch the anti-police recruitment video for the march below: