A video capturing the moment a protesters was apparently beaten and dragged along the street by officers from the New York Police Department has gone viral on social media.
Hundreds of protesters gathered in Washington Square Park on Wednesday night to demand that every vote in the 2020 election be counted.
The nation is still waiting to find out who has won the election between President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden, but the president prematurely claimed victory and filed lawsuits to stop ballot counting in some key states, including Pennsylvania, while vowing to request a recount in Wisconsin, which has been called for Biden.
The “NYC Protests Updates 2020” Twitter page reported that around 500 activists from different groups, including the Protect The Results coalition, were in Washington Square Park on Wednesday night.
A short time later, the account reported that hundreds of protesters were marching through the West Village neighborhood, with observers from the National Lawyers Guild among them.
Later, the account tweeted a video that showed an officer knock a protester over a trash can to the ground near the intersection of Seventh Avenue and Leroy Street.
“Autonomous protestors and press around Leroy and 7th Ave from Washington Sq are attacked, beaten, kettled and shoved by NYPD,” the tweet alongside the video said. The clip has since been viewed more than a million times on Twitter.
“You’re on camera! You’re on f**king camera,” a person can be heard yelling as a group of people surround them.
As the camera pans closer, one officer is seen dragging the protester along the street by pulling on their shirt while other officers push people back. “The whole world is watching!” a voice is heard yelling.
Jordan Baruch, who provides reports for the “NYC Protests Updates 2020” Twitter page, told Newsweek that he filmed the video. At that moment, NYPD officers “had followed a largely peaceful group of protesters and tried to clear the streets by grabbing random people for arrest,” Baruch said.
“Many protesters rushed to the sidewalk and some documented and tried to help people being brutalized like the person who was shoved over a trash can and dragged away,” Baruch added.
We support everyone’s right to self-expression, but setting fires puts others at risk and will not be tolerated. We are working to de-escalate the situation near Morton Street in the West Village to prevent further damage from occurring. pic.twitter.com/4nTK6UUBzC
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) November 5, 2020
The NYPD and the National Lawyers Guild have been contacted for comment about the incident. The NYPD said on Twitter that its officers arrested more than 20 people on Wednesday night. Those individuals had “attempted to hijack a peaceful protest by lighting fires, throwing garbage and eggs in Manhattan,” the NYPD said.
In another tweet on Wednesday night, the NYPD said: “We support everyone’s right to self-expression, but setting fires puts others at risk and will not be tolerated.”
The “NYC Protest Updates” page added some protesters lit trash cans on fire “after waves of aggressive arrests, reportedly for marching in the street.”
An earlier tweet said police started arresting protesters after “forcing their way” into the crowd near the intersection of Christopher Street and Greenwich Street. “Why can’t people march now? What’s going on?” a man is heard asking officers in a video included in the tweet. No answer was given.
In another video, an officer could be heard announcing on loudspeakers that protesters were unlawfully gathering in the street.
Several other videos posted on social media showed standoffs between protesters and police in the area. One video showed a police officer using a bike to push a protester away near Washington Square Park.
Others showed police apparently kettling protesters at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and 8th Street. “Protestors, packed like sardines, are beaten and arrested while onlooking officers laugh,” a tweet alongside one video said. “Let us disperse!” some of the protesters can be heard chanting in the clip.