Woman Speaks Out About Video Showing Cops Allegedly Assaulting Protester: "Fear Paralyzed Me That Night"

8:30 p.m. Last Wednesday night, hundreds of protesters were arrested and detained for breaking curfew around the city. Simultaneously, there were numerous reports of police officers aggressively arresting people, confiscating bikes, throwing bikes at people, and even allegedly assaulting them. That included the incident in the video below, in which officers were captured hitting someone with their batons, with seemingly no provocation, in Midtown Manhattan.

Today, the woman who took the video, Karla Moreno, released a statement about taking the video, and offered more context about what she saw that night and why she didn't speak out about it until now.

In a post on Medium, Moreno writes that she was stopped at the intersection of Third Avenue & 50th Street when she saw a cyclist about to cross the street: "An armed police officer raised a baton and approached the cyclist. I felt uneasy. Without thinking, I picked up my cell phone and began recording their interaction," she wrote. "I stopped recording when I realized that all three men were wearing pistols and moving towards me. I was terrified and tried to turn left against traffic."

Moreno says she then got stuck in a traffic jam of vehicles; someone not in uniform then informed her to park her car and wait. She says she waited there for approximately an hour, and texted the video to family and friends, who put it up online. She eventually was able to drive away from the scene.

She explains why she didn't come forward before now: "I am a first-generation American. My family immigrated from Mexico. Fear paralyzed me that night and in the days that followed. I have delayed making any public comment out of concern that I or my loved ones may face retaliation for revealing police misconduct." She has offered to help with any investigation into the incident.

An NYPD spokesperson told Gothamist, "We are aware of the video and it is under internal review."

Multiple politicians, including City Council member Keith Powers and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have commented on the video.

Only a small handful of police officers have been reprimanded for incidents with protesters over the last two weeks. Officer Vincent D'Andraia was arrested this week and faces multiple criminal charges for shoving a female protester to the street seemingly without provocation. At least one other officer has been suspended without pay for pulling down a protester's face mask and pepper spraying him, while a supervising officer has been transferred.

Cyclists Gather For Another Solidarity Bike Run Around Brooklyn & Lower Manhattan

7 p.m. An estimated 1,500 marchers who walked north from Washington Square Park ended up at Bryant Park, where they sat and knelt on 5th Avenue, before some headed over to stop in front of the New York Public Library.

"It's going to have to keep going," Jamal Kettrell, a 24-year-old Queens resident, told Gothamist about the ongoing marches. "I hope it lasts through wintertime. I'll march forever, don't care. We need change."

Over in Brooklyn, well over 1,000 cyclists gathered for another solidarity bike run starting at Grand Army Plaza, similar to the one that happened Monday. You can check out a few videos from there below.

And a few hundred people also gathered in Highland Park on the border of The Bronx and Queens:

5:30 p.m. As we reach the two week mark since Black Lives Matter protests broke out across the country in the wake of George Floyd's murder, hundreds gathered in Washington Square Park this afternoon for a youth-oriented BLM rally and march through Manhattan.

The rally was organized in part by NYC Revolutionaries, and true to the youthful demographic in attendance, included a lot of talk about connecting on social media. Some attendees were worried that because the rally was larger than the usual Washington Square Park one, it could attract more police attention than normal.

"I'm here because I have younger brothers who are a target because of the color of their skins," said Zakiwa Johnson, an 18-year-old student at Mildred Elley College. "I'm just hoping the police don't get violent. For the past week we've been coming here, the protest has been pretty peaceful—but because there's a bigger crowd I don't know if they're going to be threatened."

Around 5 p.m., approximately over 500 protesters began peacefully walking north up 5th Avenue, with cyclists and skaters called to the front to help lead. Nag, a 22-year-old recent SUNY New Paltz grad, told us why they were marching today: "One of the things that I most believe in is defunding the police. Education, health care, after school programs, rehab...they have almost no money, meanwhile police and military together have about $800 billion. We could be giving it to our communities, the country has the money, but we're not giving it because the military and police are like little toys."

Protesters did have a run-in at 5th Avenue and 12th Street with an older man walking his dog who yelled at marchers to "get the fuck off my property" as people kneeled in the street. As you can see in the video below, the man got into a heated discussion and pushed one person in the face. (One of the protesters noted that they had recognized him from a similar incident last week.)

The man who was shoved, Ivan Zeavin-Moss, told Gothamist afterwards, "That guy really epitomized the entire regressive attitude of, 'we were born into wealth and deserve it.' What you see here is an entire movement that rejects that. That old world order is so outdated. It's a shame that he had to resort to yelling about his birthright."

Two NJ Counterprotesters Mocked Killing Of George Floyd As Marchers Walked Past

Family members of victims of police lead march against police brutality under slogan Black Lives Matter at City Hall. People showed up for protest in support for justice for black Americans.

Family members of victims of police lead march against police brutality under slogan Black Lives Matter at City Hall. People showed up for protest in support for justice for black Americans.

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Family members of victims of police lead march against police brutality under slogan Black Lives Matter at City Hall. People showed up for protest in support for justice for black Americans.
Lev Radin/Pacific Press/Shutterstock

1 p.m. A group of white men heckled and mockingly reenacted the police killing of George Floyd during a Black Lives Matter rally in a South Jersey town.

The moment, which was captured on video and reported by the New York Times, occurred on Monday as roughly 70 protesters marched on a street in Franklin Township. Along the side of the road, they were jeered at by several white men with a sign that read, "All Lives Matter" and a pickup truck adorned with an American flag and a pro-Trump sign.

Local officials immediately condemned the act, and Governor Phil Murphy called the incident “repugnant.”

“We won’t let the actions of a few distract from our progress toward dismantling systemic racism,” Murphy said in a statement.

One of the men was later identified as a state correction officer and was suspended pending investigation.

“We have been made aware that one of our officers from Bayside State Prison participated in the filming of a hateful and disappointing video that mocked the killing of George Floyd,” the Corrections Department said in a statement.

Not long afterward, the man who was seen kneeling on another individual as part of the mocking depiction was fired from his job at Fedex. “We do not tolerate the kind of appalling and offensive behavior depicted in this video,” the company said in a statement.

Daryan Fennal, 21, who organized the protest in the town, told the Times that the demonstrators had encountered the group of men as they were marching back to a community center.

She said the men had also hurled racist and demeaning insults at them, yelling, “If George Floyd would have complied he wouldn’t be dead”; “Go cash your checks”; and “Black Lives Matter to no one."

“I was crying, immediately,” she said. “I was thinking about the kids who were marching behind me. That’s not something easily unseen.”

Here's a running list of protests scheduled for Wednesday, June 10th:

BROOKLYN

4 p.m.: EmblemHealth at Pennsylvania Avenue and Atlantic Avenue

4 p.m.: Municipal Parking Lot at Grant Avenue

6 p.m.: Bike ride at Grand Army Plaza

MANHATTAN

4 p.m.: Washington Square Park
7 p.m.: Vigil at Carl Schurz Park

QUEENS

4 p.m.: Merrick Boulevard and Springfield Boulevard

BRONX

4 p.m.: Parkchester Station

5 p.m.: East 158th Street and Grand Concourse