Yesterday's reports about the number of people arrested during the 50th annual Puerto Rican Day Parade were incorrect: While numbers like 80 and 173 were offered, today the NY Times reveals 208 people were arrested, due to police concerns about the Latin Kings. However, there's some question as to whether more people without gang connections were arrested during the sweep.
Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne said the breakdown of the arrests was 198 gang members (145 Latin Kinds, 40 Bloods, 13 Natas) and 10 non-gang members: "The parade organizers did not invite the Latin Kings, and they did not want them in the parade." But the NY Times managed to speak to a number of arrestees who were held in jail overnight and their family members, many of them wondering why they were arrested. A Legal Aid Society lawyer representing some of them said, "People said they were being told by the police that they needed this group to turn the corner; then when they obeyed, the police were waiting around the corner." Hmm, that sounds familiar. And then there's how the police targeted "gang members":
Several young men and women from Yonkers said they had been arrested because they were wearing yellow T-shirts with black lettering. They said the police had misconstrued their T-shirts, given to them by a friend to advertise his rap album, as Latin Kings shirts.
“We were bum rushed by a bunch of cops,” said Samantha Santiago, one of the Yonkers contingent. Ms. Santiago, a saleswoman at a sneaker store, was arrested along with her boyfriend. She was wearing a pink shirt, and her boyfriend was wearing one of the yellow shirts.
We wonder if people wearing red (and there were a lot of them at the parade) were arrested for being Bloods. And no Crips arrests?
Apparently, the NYPD arrested 50-60 during last year's parade.
Photograph by ~ Raymond on Flickr