Police officers mentioned they discovered a Molotov cocktail on the scene of demonstrations Monday night time in Decrease Manhattan at a vigil held in honor of Jordan Neely, the 30-year-old homeless man who was killed on a subway automobile by one other passenger in a deadly chokehold every week in the past.
“We can not have folks popping out to protest with what we wish to be a peaceable protest, bringing out harmful substances like this,” Chief of Division Jeffrey Maddrey mentioned late Monday at a press convention, including that police made a minimum of 11 arrests on the protest.
“Agitators that come from exterior our metropolis with Molotov cocktails, we must always all be involved about that,” Mayor Eric Adams informed THE CITY at an unrelated occasion Monday in Howard Seashore, Queens.
The feedback from metropolis officers got here within the wake of a violent crackdown on demonstrators Tuesday night time, the place eleven demonstrators, together with a journalist, had been arrested at a vigil for Neely.
The vigil began calmly, with a small group of demonstrators chanting Neely’s title on the Broadway-Lafayette subway platform and a number of other dozen others gathered on the sidewalk above for speeches and chants.
But it surely rapidly devolved into chaos, as dozens of cops who had been lined up on the sidewalk began shoving into the group for focused arrests. Officers pushed activist Dwreck Ingram into the road, shoved him to the bottom and pinned him there, whereas one other demonstrator with blood dripping down his brow was carted off to a police van.
Amongst these arrested was award-winning photojournalist Stephanie Keith, whose photographs have appeared in retailers that embrace the New York Occasions and Every day Information.
“It is a vigil for a fucking homeless man,” shouted 26-year-old Justin Pines after the primary arrests. “The place had been they when Justin Neely was being fucking killed?”
The protest and vigil got here every week after Neely’s killing in a subway automobile stopped on the Broadway-Lafayette station in Decrease Manhattan by the hands of Daniel Penny, a 24-year-old former Marine who put him in a deadly chokehold. Earlier within the day, Neely’s household had demanded Penny’s imprisonment and implored the mayor to talk with them about their son.
Mayor Eric Adams additionally informed THE CITY Monday night time — earlier than his solely public look of the day, at an occasion at a Queens catering corridor — that he had tried to succeed in Neely’s household earlier to supply his condolences.
“Reached out to them a number of occasions to present them my condolences,” he mentioned at Russo’s on the Bay in Howard Seashore, including that he had tried to get in contact with the household in the present day. Adams additionally famous that Neely shared the identical first title as his son, Jordan Coleman.
In the course of the top of the protests after the 2020 homicide of George Floyd, police management typically blamed “exterior agitators” and claimed they discovered weapons of assorted varieties to justify violent crackdowns on protesters. The techniques have since been condemned by worldwide human rights teams and state Legal professional Basic Letitia James, costing $20 million in authorized settlements and counting, based on the comptroller’s workplace.
The demonstrators who spoke to THE CITY Monday night time had been New Yorkers. Some had deliberate to attend the vigil prematurely, whereas others, like 23-year-old Clover St. Hubert who had been passing by on the practice and felt compelled to affix in.
“I’m a Black artist. I’m a Black mentally unwell artist. It may have been me. It may have been any of my mates,” St. Hubert mentioned.
Because the protesters marched down Essex Road towards the NYPD’s seventh Precinct to fulfill those that’d been arrested earlier, they handed Cheyenne Taylor, 31, who joined within the chanting. Whereas she had not too long ago been positioned in a protected haven mattress, she mentioned she knew Neely from six years residing on the streets.
“He simply bought out of jail,” she mentioned. “He solely wished meals. He didn’t must die.”
This text has been up to date to replicate breaking developments.