NYPD attacks Anarchist People of Color fundraiser
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Critical Resistance Northeast Office,
November 16, 2003
NYPD ATTACKS PEACEFUL GATHERING AT BROOKLYN COMMUNITY SPACE 8 People
Arrested at Benefit for Anarchist People of Color
Brooklyn, NY - People attending a private fundraising event in Brooklyn were
shocked early this morning by an unprovoked and violent assault at the hands
of the NYPD. Up to 100 people attending a fundraiser for activists of color
were indiscriminately sprayed with chemical agents, beaten with nightsticks,
and harassed by a throng of police officers. Witnesses say there was no
cause for the assaults and the subsequent arrests following the melee.
Over 25 police vehicles arrived at 968 Atlantic Avenue, the location of the
fundraising event, at around 2 AM, to investigate an officer's report of
someone standing outside the party allegedly holding an "open container".
Within minutes, the police unleashed their wave of violence onto the crowd,
provoking onlookers and beating down attendees who were not resisting their
orders. Over 20 people were experiencing effects of the pepper spray that
was erratically sprayed into the air by the officers.
All tenants of the private, residential building were present at the event,
did not request police assistance, and no one in the building placed a
complaint with the precinct or the emergency response system. Witnesses
report that no warrant was presented upon police entrance. Organizers
responded peacefully to police threats and physical provocation, yielding to
their disrespectful demands.
"I was stunned at the severity of the attack, and I am genuinely concerned
for the safety and well-being of those who were unfairly detained and
arrested", said a witness at the scene of the incident.
Legal council at the scene confirmed that at least 8 arrests were made.
Preliminary allegations include violation of disorderly conduct, resisting
arrest and inciting a riot, all of which are classified as misdemeanors. The
77th Precinct, which is where the arrestees were initially held, has been
unwilling to provide even the smallest information about the status of those
arrested. EMS visited the precinct to attend to those who sustained serious
injuries, which include bruised ribs, a spinal injury, and severe blows to
Critical Resistance is a national grassroots group that focuses on prisons
and police brutality, and challenges the belief that policing, surveillance,
imprisonment, and similar forms of control make our communities safer.
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