NYPD arrests nearly 30 racial justice protesters at MLK Day demonstration

Graig Graziosi
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 18: Digital billboards commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in Times Square on January 18, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images) (Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 18: Digital billboards commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in Times Square on January 18, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

At least 28 Black Lives Matter protesters were arrested by the NYPD during a demonstration on Martin Luther King Jr Day in New York City.

A Black Liberation March held in New York City included groups from across the city and drew hundreds of demonstrators on Monday.

The group marched to the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn, where they were met by a force of NYPD officers.

Police demanded the demonstrators disperse. When protesters refused, police began arresting and beating protesters, which escalated the confrontation.

Officers were outfitted in riot gear and carried batons and zipties.

Police arrested at least 28 demonstrators, and 11 officers were injured during the confrontation, though none seriously.

The arrests come a week after New York Attorney General Letitia James sued the NYPD for violent acts against protesters.

Ms James said the NYPD had a longstanding pattern of using violent force against protesters which she attributes to a lack of training, supervision and discipline.

The lawsuit cites dozens of examples of NYPD police using excessive force against protesters in the wake of George Floyd's killing by law enforcement.

Ms James want a court appointed monitor installed to oversee the department's future policing actions at protests.

The New York Civil Liberties Union and Legal Aid Society also brought a lawsuit against the city for excessive use of force by police against protesters in October.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city was committed to reforming its law enforcement.

“Here, we have 100% commitment to reform,” Mr de Blasio told NY1. “You’re going to see something that we’ve needed in this city for a long time.”

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