BROOKLYN, N.Y. (PIX11) — A peaceful rally turned tense Saturday when the NYPD clashed with pro-Palestine supporters in Bay Ridge.
In one video obtained by PIX11 News, the situation appeared to turn violent between NYPD officers and protesters.
Earlier in the afternoon, thousands of people had flooded the streets of Brooklyn to support Palestine, the partially recognized sovereign state. Palestine is not a country recognized by the United States or the United Nations.
The war between Israel and Hamas has prompted protests and demonstrations from both pro-Israel and pro-Palestine supporters in New York City. The NYPD has increased security across the city in response.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Police Commissioner Edward A. Caban said, “The NYPD is doing everything we can do to forestall future violence in our city. However, we know the ongoing events overseas may resonate with individuals domestically and that is hard to anticipate.”
The NYPD also provided a statement in response to the video obtained by PIX11 News.
“During the course of a planned protest for which a permit was not attained, officers encountered a mostly peaceful crowd. Some demonstrators within the crowd chose to act in a combative and aggressive manner. Officers were pushed, shoved, and struck by some demonstrators within the crowd after the LRAD (long-range acoustic device) device was utilized,” a spokesperson for the NYPD said.
“Officers were struck with flying debris which included eggs, fireworks, and bottles. Officers responded to this disruptive behavior and attempted to regain order by taking into custody those responsible for these actions. In the course of doing so, the officer seen in the video is reacting to active resistance by criminals within the crowd. The NYPD encourages peaceful protests but will not condone our officers being subjected to any form of violence.”
Matthew Euzarraga is a multimedia journalist from El Paso, Texas. He has covered local news and LGBTQIA topics in the New York City Metro area since 2021. He joined the PIX11 Digital team in 2023. You can see more of his work here.