Hundreds of NYPD members surrounded the BLM protesters, then police in riot gear and on bikes rushed into the crowd.
“Just dancing, that’s all we were doing. They came out of nowhere,” one protester told CBS2’s Kiran Dhillon.
“We were free, dancing in the streets, alleviating our pain. We are in pain every single day, and they can’t even let us have that,” another protester said.
After several tense moments, police dispersed.
“They’re terrorizing joy. We didn’t come here to do anything but to have fun,” protester Shanee Grant said.
Before police surged into the crowd, the small group of around 20-40 people had been dancing to a DJ as local artists shared their works.
Organizers tell CBS2 moments before that, it was their way to peacefully protest a grand jury’s decision not to charge police officers in Breonna Taylor’s death.
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“The police just came and stormed in and took our belongings … They swarmed us. We were peacefully assembled. There was nothing, no violence,” one organizer said.
Members of the group said police seized their sound equipment, so they marched to the 6th Precinct, where they were met again by hundreds of waiting officers.
Things once again escalated.
Police could be seen taking a number of people into custody.
It’s unclear what happened next, but suddenly officers rushed into the intersection of Hudson Street and West 10th, knocking into outdoor diners across the street.
“Screaming in people’s faces completely unnecessarily. I mean, it was just crazy,” said Sue Williams, owner of Cowgirl restaurant. “There were peaceful protesters, there was nothing really going on, and all of a sudden, all these cops on bikes rushed over here and they were running down, people were running down the street, and they ran into this whole restaurant area and were pushing people back and all our tables were scared.”
Williams believes they cost her thousands of dollars in business.
“We’re already struggling to survive,” she said.
It’s unclear whether there were any injuries. Eventually the crowd left, but officers lingered for some time.
Protesters say even with these tense moments, they will not stop rallying and gathering until there is justice for Breonna Taylor.
Sources tell CBS2 that multiple arrests were made outside the 6th Precinct. Charges include disorderly conduct and obstruction of government administration.
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