Violence Breaks Out During ‘Occupy Wall Street’ March Toward New York Stock Exchange
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Shortly after protesters learned they’d be able to stay in Zuccotti Park indefinitely, violence broke out Friday morning as a group marched away from it.
Demonstrators clashed with officers while marching to Wall Street’s landmark Bull. Police said arrests — of which there were more than a dozen — were mainly for blocking traffic. Protesters chanted “The whole world is watching” during the arrests.
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Among the most notable incidents on Friday happened when one man lost his balance, and was run over by a police scooter. The man could be seen screaming on the ground after the tire of the scooter apparently rolled over on his foot.
“He was just walking and the cop ran him over,” one witness said.
It’s unclear how the man came to be on the ground in the first place or how his leg ended up under the bike. Police descended on the protester and got him out from under the bike. Some witnesses told Sandberg the man was beaten during the arrest.
“We had somebody knock over a scooter, there were some arrests here — I don’t know what the charges were — there were people in the street the police officer was trying to get them out of the street, this was down near the exchange,” New York City Police Department’s Deputy Commissioner of Public Information Paul Browne said.
The National Guild of Lawyers said they believe the man, who is not being identified, was a legal observer at the scene to to offer assistance to protesters who are arrested. The Guild says the man was arrested after the incident which remains under investigation.
GRAPHIC VIDEO WARNING: PROTESTER RUN OVER
Protesters, apparently jubilant over being able to stay in the park after their furious cleanup efforts, took their brooms, flags and signs and started fanning out at around 7:30 a.m.
Park owners, with Brookfield Properties, backed down, saying political leaders asked them to. Mayor Bloomberg talked about it on his radio show.
LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg was there when a peaceful march turned violent
“My understanding is that Brookfield got lots of calls from many elected officials threatening them and saying ‘if you don’t stop this, we’ll make your life more difficult,'” Bloomberg said.
“I think that was a wise decision, I think it saved mayhem. I think it saved people from being hurt,” Community Activist Rev. Herbert Daughtery told CBS 2’s Tony Aiello.
1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reported the protesters were saying things to the effect that now that they’d cleaned up the park, they were going to clean up Wall Street.
“It’s not about giving up, it’s about holding the ground,” protestor Pooja Desai told CBS 2’s Dave Carlin.
“They can arrest all they want, it’s only going to give us more strength,” protester Bob Smith said.
A group of protesters headed south on Broadway toward the New York Stock Exchange, carrying their brooms. Police were taken off-guard, Sandberg reported. The group swelled quickly and wound up in a confrontation with police as they tried to gain access to Wall Street.
The standoff occurred near Bowling Green as they turned left on Beaver Street as police urged protesters to stay out of the street and stay on the sidewalk.
Police scooters were shaped like a V and moved toward the protesters in the standoff. Sandberg reported police clashed with some protesters, wielding their night sticks and batons.
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First Precinct Commander Ed Winski checked a protester who refused to stay on the sidewalk. When the protester came back into the street, Winski hurled his megaphone down and wound up rolling around in the street with the protester, throwing punches. Other officers surrounded the two, throwing punches. The protester was arrested.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if he threw down his megaphone in order to help make an arrest,” Browne said.
Police say the protesters were throwing bottles and bags of garbage at officers, triggering the police response, Sandberg reported. Police say they were trying to control the situation when it got out of hand.
Many of the protesters wound up circling back and returning to Zuccotti Park, Sandberg reported.
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