Activists Crash NYPD Event to Protest Police Brutality

After icebreakers in the park, they marched to the “National Night Out” event hosted by the 40th precinct on Brook Avenue between East 137th and East 138th streets.

They yelled, “Black lives! Matter!,” “Whose streets? Our streets!,” “Our city! Our fight!,” “Escucha, escucha! Estamos en la lucha!” (“Listen, listen! We are in the struggle!) and “El pueblo, unido, jamás será vencido!” (“A united people and community shall never be defeated!”).

When they arrived, police officers blocked them from entering until their boss informed them they had to let them in. As they marched and chanted, attendees looked on with curiosity. The music was turned up to drown out the marchers, but they still charged ahead even as their chants became inaudible.

After they crashed the NYPD event, they marched back to the park.

One of the marchers yelled, “Who killed Eric Garner?,” “Who killed Ramarley Graham?” and “Who killed Sandra Bland?” — referring to the deaths of black individuals at the hands of the police on Staten Island, in the Bronx and in Waller County, Texas, respectively. Each time, the marchers responded, “The police!” and “The NYPD!”

Albert Saint Jean, a New York City organizer for the Black Alliance for Just Immigration — who is from Haiti and resides in Brooklyn — blasted the controversial “broken windows” policing method that targets smaller crimes to stave off larger ones. And he lamented gentrification “creeping into our neighborhoods,” with white people “free to do as they please.”

“We ourselves always have to question our own humanity and our own rights to be places,” Saint Jean said. “It’s to the point where they harass us so much that we even feel like we did something wrong. We walk around already feeling guilty having done nothing.”

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