NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A group of people have been charged with rioting after several storefronts in New York City were smashed Friday.
It’s not clear who the group was associated with, but they did a lot of damage — tens of thousands of dollars worth.
They smashed the windows of several businesses, like a Starbucks at 21st Street and Madison in the Flatiron District.
Banks and a pharmacy were also vandalized in the West Village, SoHo and Lower Manhattan.
Cellphone video shows a group of protesters dressed in black in the area around 8 p.m. Friday, chanting, “Every city, every town, burn the precinct to the ground.” They also demanded criminal charges be dropped against protesters from the last few months.
Video also shows a dumpster fire surrounded by officers on motorcycles, and another video shows a large group of officers running down the street in riot gear.
Authorities say at least eight people were arrested. At least one person was from out of state — a 20-year-old man from Portland. Those arrested were between the ages of 19-30.
Police say they recovered a taser and an electric weapon from those who were arrested.
Video shows several people being loaded into a police van. They’re now facing charges, including rioting and possession of graffiti instruments.
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Harlem resident Jason Williams was surprised to see the smashed windows at a bank on Sixth Avenue and 21st Street.
“I feel like things have calmed down because after SoHo, you remember what happened in SoHo? That was crazy,” he said. “I didn’t know they were still doing that.
Protests against police brutality picked back up this week.
“Innocent lives being taken, it’s never justified,” one protester said.
A group rallied without incident Saturday in Union Square, and hundreds of bicyclists chanted “Black lives matter” as they rode up Sixth Avenue.
“All the protests that I’ve seen and witnessed, they’ve all been remarkably peaceful,” New York City resident Ken King said.
“Yesterday, last night, late at night, I was here and I see all these kids. You know, like, I’m talking about teenagers. It’s not like the protests, the protests are very peaceful,” Flatiron resident Adel Boussemha told CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge.
“I haven’t noticed that it was protesters that were vandalizing, it looked like drunk people,” Flatiron resident Ron Williams said.
“Whatever reason there was for damage, the people’s voices are being heard, and the city is working with the people to figure out some sort of change,” another man said.
Some protesters in the area were carrying flags that said “Free All Political Prisoners,” but police are still investigating what the motive was for the vandalism and violence.
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