FINANCIAL DISTRICT, Manhattan — About 50 protesters, mostly from the Black Youth Project 100, chained themselves to the lobby turnstiles of the building housing the New York City Patrolman's Benevolent Association headquarters Wednesday morning.
Protestors spoke out around 9 a.m., once again, against police brutality and focused in on the NYPD police union, the labor organization representing the city’s NYPD officers.
“We are here today to demand that these organizations are defunded and the money to go towards black people. We are asking for a divestment in PBA and investment in black people and investment in black futures,” said organizer, Jewel Cadet.
Protesters linked themselves together with chains and a plastic type of tubing and sat in front of the turnstiles in the building’s lobby at 125 Broad St. The PBA headquarters are on the 11th floor.
The protesters were eventually moved after nearly an hour. Police were left with no other choice but to cut through the chains and, one by one, protesters were taken out.
Ten people were arrested at the Manhattan protest. They were charged with criminal trespass, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and obstruction of governmental administration.
PBA President Pat lynch said the march and protest did not result in any altercations with officers and while he does understand their right to protest, Lynch believes their anger is misplaced.
“Police officers don’t make policy; City Hall does. But nonetheless once they enter the lobby, that’s private property and then they’re breaking the law, which is unfortunate because then their message does not get heard,” said Lynch.
Cadet said today was a national day of action. Similar protests were held in Washington, D.C. There was a march to the legislative office of the National Fraternal Order of Police there. The building was shut down for a period of time after protesters chained themselves to one another, blocking the entrance. Organizers also managed to block traffic for some time on Massachusetts Avenue.
“We will not stand silent and if that means we will have to be militant and organize then that’s what we will do," Cadet said.