While New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio walked the notorious steps of the Museum of Modern Art and proceeded to hob-knob at the prestigious gala among an elite guest-list, peaceful protesters gathered outside of the gala calling the man who oversees the NYPD budget to defund the police.
Earlier today the NYPD’s Strategic Response Group arrested protesters outside of the Met Gala. Protesters are calling for police accountability and divestment from the NYPD- they’re met with violence from (unmasked) SRG cops. pic.twitter.com/DhbYIgyW7B
— Isabelle Leyva (@isabelle_leyva) September 14, 2021
According to one of the flyers obtained by Daily Mail, the protest was organized by an “autonomous group of NYC abolitionists who believe that policing does not protect and serve communities.” Twitter hashtags have led many to believe the group is called the “#FireThemAll” protesters.
“The NYPD has a total financial allocation of $11 billion per year. This money goes towards racist policing that destroys Black and brown communities while people who are struggling do not get the resources they need. CARE, not COPS, is the answer,” the flyer states.
Multiple angles of cell phone footage show various confrontations between civilians and local authorities as protesters continue to chant “Black Lives Matter” through NYPD’s calls to “Move back!”
Other video depicts the protesters shouting the name Mike Rosado, a 24-year-old man from the Bronx who was fatally shot by police officers in plain clothes in August. Things appeared to take a violent turn as officers were later caught on video rushing into the crowd and taking down protesters to arrest them with zip-tie handcuffs. Protesters later moved their demonstration to NYPD’s 28th precinct where they continued to assemble until 9 p.m. local time.
De Blasio earned a hefty amount of criticism for his handling of police interactions with protesters amid last year’s protests stemming from the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. De Blasio enforced an 8 p.m. citywide curfew that arguably led to more violence from police officers against those who continued to demonstrate in the streets. He also chose not to condemn the NYPD officers that drove through a crowd of protesters.
“It’s inappropriate for protesters to surround a police vehicle and threaten police officers,” de Blasio said in response at the time. “That’s wrong on its face, and that hasn’t happened in the history of protest in NYC.”
It seems almost fitting that right outside of an elite gala, social justice protesters would be arrested while those privileged enough to receive an invitation enjoyed the fruits of high fashion and socialite rule. It remains unclear exactly how many protesters were arrested.