The Greenwich Village Community Board meeting descended into chaos Wednesday night as anti-police protesters repeatedly yelled at local officers and NYPD officers – at one point calling the commander of the local police compound “a racist piece of s-t.”
Unruly attendees debated with officers and older local residents whether or not police should act on wild parties at a late night, Community Board 2 meeting inside Washington Square Park, which was promoted by Police surveillance worker.
Most of the participants were rowdy and disruptive as they accused the police of using extreme tactics to target minorities and enforce midnight curfew in the park.
NYPD Captain Stephen Spataro, commanding officer of the 6th compound, was called a “racist piece of S-T” that would “go to hell,” as protesters shouted at a joint panel of local officials. CB2 Representative From the Parks and Waterfront Committee and the Human Services Committee.
Spataro said major incidents of crime and vandalism have decreased since July 1, thanks in particular to an influx of police maintaining a presence in the park near the famous arch.
“We are not looking for enforcement,” Spataro said. “We want to pass the night without arrest, without any summons, to make everyone feel safe, but we will [make] Arrests if needed are our aim that our presence there will avert any issue.”
Gia Lisa Krahn, a director of Alchemical Studios, an arts and theater business on West 14th Street, claimed she was the victim of police brutality when she was in the park following the 10 p.m. curfew, which was enforced several times in the spring. was done.
“The captain is speaking about the police presence as if it’s something that makes everyone feel safe,” Krahne said.
“But they are a hundred cops on military bicycles several times since 8:30 pm. On June 5th, I was the first person to be brutally arrested. I did not come there to protest. It was 10:05 p.m., and five men pulled me forward, threw me face-to-face on the ground, and while I was walking backwards, my friend beside me was covered in blood.
In response, Spataro said police repeatedly warned people in the park that they would be arrested if they didn’t follow the curfew, and dozens of officers have been attacked in recent months.
David “Shaman Ortiz, 28, who is credited with starting the recent wave of parties and unlicensed boxing matches at the park, said he and fellow members of the “Be Outside Crew” are providing a community service. Huh.
“What we do is amplify the voice and communication of the community that has already been in Washington Square Park forever,” Ortiz said.
“This park has been around for decades, before any of you even lived. Artists have been coming here for centuries. It is a place of community. It is a place, a place of welcome,” Ortiz said.
“And yes, I was arrested for it. And yes, just three days ago my case was dismissed for being arrested for amplified sound. Wanna know why? Cuz it’s bull,” he said.
At one point during the chaotic meeting, Ortiz walked over to a table where the panel members were sitting and shouted at the officers’ faces.
“I know I’m out of turn by the rules of Bluebook, but I found what you did was very intimidating, coming straight at me. I didn’t appreciate it and I thought it was incredibly rude And it was intimidating and I wanted you to know that,” said Georgia Silver Seaman of the Parks/Waterfront Committee, when Ortiz charged the panel.
Longtime local residents opened fire on rioters—most of whom came from outside gentrified neighborhoods to party in the park.
“There’s a lot of irrational things going on. I guess I want to be fair; I think most of us would like to be fair,” said Bill Warren, 69. “It’s not fair to have 200 decibels every night at 2 a.m. “
A local resident said she now avoids Washington Square due to rampant drug use and homelessness.
“I’ve lived in this neighborhood for 45 years, I don’t go near that park anymore. I stopped doing that about five or six months ago because of what I was seeing here, and the things I hear from the neighborhood. I was very upset about it,” Mary Quinlan told the crowd.