New York representatives criticize tough police response to protests


Several New York representatives and lawmakers on Saturday voiced their rejection of the "tough" police response in the Big Apple to Friday protests over the death of an African-American agent George Floyd in Minneapolis, which led to violent riots and the arrest of about 200 people, according to local media.

"We cannot have the huge police presence that was there yesterday," New York City Ombudsman Jumaane Williams said in a message to New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Demort Shea.

"There was a police wall, and that is a very intimidating situation (for the protesters)," Williams said in front of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, one of the places where the greatest unrest occurred in New York.

"We are dealing with people who are in mourning and are feeling anger, and the police response cannot be to get muscle, that is not going to help us to get out of this situation," added the ombudsman, who said he hopes that there are more protests until "African Americans get what we are asking for."

Along with him, the New York State Senator for the Queens District, John Liu, who recalled that people took to the streets to express their frustration and anger, and yet was "pushed and knocked to the ground and beaten with car doors "by New York Police.

"And do we have a mayor who says that his orders have been to reduce tensions? Reduce tensions preparing your troops as if they were going to the invasion of Normandy? Is this how tensions are reduced?" Said the legislator, visibly affected .

Liu said that what happened on Friday night in New York was "more scary than this feared coronavirus": "I saw a total failure of the government that must stop. And the mayor has to apologize for what happened yesterday and make sure that it does not It happens again here. "

Hundreds of New Yorkers took to the streets this Friday for the second consecutive day to show their rejection of the death of the African-American George Floyd at the hands of a Minnesota policeman to the cry of "the life of black people matter", protests in which the There were moments of great tension between protesters and law enforcement, which led to arrests and incidents at various points in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

The first protest was held in Foley Square, where there were 30 arrests, although the most violent actions were recorded in Brooklyn, with three epicenters, in Prospect Heighs before the Barclays Center, in Fort Green Park and in the nearby neighborhood of Clinton Hill. .

In the Barclays Center, protected by an important police cordon, moments of great tension were experienced, with police beatings, use of sprays and arrests.

Carrying photos of Latinos and blacks victims of police brutality, and signs with messages of "Judge the cops," Enough is enough "or" Justice for Floyd, "the protesters, wearing masks and gloves, responded to a new call for the organization "Black Lives Matter" in popular Foley Square, surrounded by the courts in Manhattan and just steps from the headquarters of the police of the city The protesters threw bottles and garbage.

The riots occurred despite de Blasio's call for calm a few hours earlier: "To all of you who are protesting, please, even if you are expressing your pain and anger and that feeling that there is something wrong and that it should get ready, remember how important it is to protest peacefully. "

He further stressed that the New York Police had received "clear instructions" to respect peaceful protests, and asked protesters to direct their anger "against the government": "They are angry with the leaders they elected, so they direct all that anger against all of us".

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