When around 100 people decided to gather in midtown Manhattan on Friday night for a Black Lives Matter-backed “Defund the Police” protest, no one expected the night to end with 11 arrests and two police officers injured.
According to the New York Post, violence started when protesters mistook Daily News cameraman Sam Costanza for a police officer and the crowd swarmed around him to attack.
One protester shouted, “He’s a cop!” before demonstrators swarmed Costanza. Miraculously, the cameraman escaped the melee with only a bloody nose and declined medical attention, the New York Post reported.
Nearly a dozen facing charges
Another protester, Angel Rivera, allegedly bit an officer’s thigh and kicked another officer in the foot before being arrested.
The 19-year-old was charged with two counts of assault on a police officer, two counts of assault, one count of resisting arrest, obstructing governmental justice, and unlawful possession of a noxious matter, according to the Post.
Ten others, including some who attacked Costanza, were charged with disorderly conduct, obstructing governmental administration, unlawful assembly, and assault but were given desk tickets and released, an NYPD spokesperson said.
In contrast to the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, no one blamed any politician for inciting the riot or suggested that any political figure or party encouraged the violence. The FBI did not get involved, either, begging the question: Were the police officers injured in the Manhattan melee less important than the lawmakers who faced protests at the Capitol?
More protests, no responsibility
It is the second BLM protest in a week’s time to get out of control. A previous protest in Washington, D.C. also resulted in skirmishes with police after protesters harassed nearby outdoor diners and chanted, “Burn it down!” as they marched in the streets, according to reports.
“Burn it down,” they chant.
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) February 7, 2021
Protesters also shined bright lights at police and shouted insults at them. At some point, the group recited together, “We are here tonight because Black lives matter.”
“Despite Black lives mattering, Black people are still dying at the hands of the police paid for by our tax dollars,” they added, according to the Washington Examiner.
Although at least 5,000 National Guard troops are still stationed in D.C. and will remain there through March, no arrests were reported during the protest in the nation’s capital.