NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor-elect Eric Adams issued a call Saturday to keep protests in New York City peaceful in reaction to the not guilty verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial.
Adams, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and comptroller-elect Brad Lander released a joint statement calling for the prohibition of concealed carry laws and stopping “the easy purchase of firearms that can be transported from one community to another with malicious intent.”READ MORE: New York City Announces First-In-The-Nation Vaccine Mandate For Private Companies
The statement goes on to say, “New Yorkers are united in support of safety and justice, and against violence and division. As some of us take to the streets today to make our voices heard, we must demonstrate our conviction through peaceful protest so that the country hears our message for a better way forward.”
Watch Christina Fan’s report —
As CBS2’s Christina Fan reported, demonstrators marched from Barclays Center to the Brooklyn Bridge on Friday.
Protesters, angered by the verdict, called Rittenhouse’s acquittal a double standard. Some said the justice system failed.
“This sets a scary precedent and I’m not sure what to do as a regular person. So I just made this sign,” said Phoebe Helander.
“It shows how bad we are in this country with just this one verdict, and I think most of us were expecting,” Williams said.
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— Ali Bauman (@AliBaumanTV) November 20, 2021
Five people were arrested. The suspects range in age from 22-38. Three are from Brooklyn and one is from Freehold, New Jersey. They face multiple charges, including riot and unlawful assembly.
According to police, the suspects had a hatchet, an axe, black spray paint and a graffiti marker on them.
Police have not connected the arrests to the Rittenhouse trial.
“This is a quiet neighborhood. It’s a working class neighborhood. I don’t understand what’s going on over here,” said Chris Pkarski.
The mayor-elect, who visited the neighborhood Saturday, called the suspects “outside agitators.” Adams defended the right to protest but vowed to keep New York City safe from violent demonstrations.
“To come to a neighborhood and openly destroy property, be disruptive, throw objects at the residents of the neighborhood, that is unacceptable in our city,” he said.
Councilman Robert Holden, of Middle Village, says the suspects did not chant or hold signs and instead only appeared determined to destroy property.MORE NEWS: Westchester County Issues State Of Emergency As COVID-19 Hospitalizations Double
Editor’s note: This story was first published Nov. 20.