Video shows NYPD charge at, arrest protesters amid outdoor diners in NYC
By Alex Taylor and Vincent Barone
New York Post
Dramatic video shows NYPD officers, some in riot gear, arrest a group of protesters in the midst of outdoor diners in the West Village on Saturday night.
The protesters — who were later hit with charges that include disorderly conduct — had been gathered on the sidewalk and a pedestrian island on Hudson Street near 10th Street.
Facing them across the street was a large group of bike cops, according to a video of the incident.
An automated police announcement warned against restricting pedestrian or vehicular traffic.
Suddenly, at around 9 p.m., officers race across the street, and shouting is heard.
“What are you doing!?” one person shouts as the officers knock over a restaurant’s stool in pursuit of a protester.
Protesters said they had moved onto Hudson Street after earlier marching to the nearby 6th Precinct to protest police busting up what they said had been a peaceful, art-driven rally in Washington Square Park, complete with a DJ playing music.
“There was a DJ there but there is always music in Washington Square Park. It wasn’t louder than it usually is,” said one protester at the scene.
“Multiple” people were arrested for disorderly conduct and obstructing governmental administration, a police spokesman said.
Bystanders were startled to see the arrests unfold amid a small crowd enjoying outdoor drinks and dinners.
“Left a gig and walked into police arresting peaceful protesters,” Marti Gould Cummings, a drag artist and City Council candidate, claimed in a tweet, along with more video of the scene.
“Police are lining up in the village,” Cummings went on in another post.
Earlier this month a massive college party raged in the park without interruption. Crowds reassembled in the park after the Saturday night clash, but police broke up that gathering, too, just after midnight.
Two cruisers rolled up with about 20 officers trailing behind.
“The time is 12:03. Washington Square Park is now closed,” cops said over the speaker. “Make your way out of the park.”
The crowds left without incident but with a little lip.