BREAKING NEWS: Multiple people arrested as cops clash with Pride party-goers in Washington Square Park
- At least three people have been arrested in Washington Square Park during Pride celebrations on Sunday afternoon
- NYPD officers were seen in riot gear and using pepper on parkgoers
- It’s believed an altercation occurred after a barricade was shoved into a woman
- One cop responded with force shoving the metal barrier back into the woman which then caused those inside the park to erupt in anger
- Tensions were already high between the police and LGBTQ community having been banned from attending any Pride events until at least 2025
Several people have been arrested in New York’s Washington Square Park during Pride celebrations in the area.
NYPD officers are said to have used pepper spray on Pride attendees who were in the Greenwich Village park early on Sunday evening.
Police were seen surrounding the park dressed in riot gear including shields and helmets. Some had their batons drawn ready for an encounter.
A chain of officers also filled the perimeter streets on police bikes.
There were at least three confirmed arrests.
At least three people have been arrested in Washington Square Park during Pride celebrations on Sunday afternoon
People gather in Washington Square Park for the 3rd annual Queer Liberation March in New York on Sunday. Several people were later arrested following the Pride celebrations
‘There’s talk of mace happening right now at Washington Square Park. There is a sea of cops here,’ Twitter user Christine Chung wrote.
‘I am currently watching NYPD charge Washington Square Park with riot gear (helmets, pepper spray, batons) … potentially to break up pride celebrations? It certainly looks like they are confronting people celebrating pride from my vantage point,’ wrote Meredith Cash.
‘The NYPD has attacked the Queer Liberation March, used pepper spray, and arrested at least one person. Now they’re out in force, and riot gear, threatening more arrests. This is why it’s no cops at Pride.
One Twitter user explained how Pride-goers were congregating close to the iconic arch while a barricade was moved to create more space for parkgoers.
It’s believed an altercation occurred after a barricade was shoved into a woman
Tensions were already high between the police and LGBTQ community having been banned from attending any Pride events until at least 2025
Cops already inside the pen started forcefully shoving it back and a woman became agitated and shoved it back at officers.
Another cop then shoved the metal barricade back hitting a woman.
Parkgoers then went to the barricades to yell at police for not being careful and hurting a woman. It’s at this point NYPD deployed pepper spray.
Over the last month the park has often been the scene of anti-social behavior with everything from illegal boxing matches, to raves and drug taking occurring within the vicinity.
LTBTQ Pride Parade marchers are seen gathering at Washington Square Park in New York City before police appeared to break up the event
Tensions were already high between the NYPD and those celebrating Pride after organizers of New York City’s event decided to ban LGBTQ police officers from marching in uniform.
For those looking to march for LGBTQ rights, the Reclaim Pride Coalition held its third Queer Liberation March from Bryant Park to Stonewall National Monument and Washington Square Park.
The liberation event does not allow police or corporate participation.
The march commemorates the 1969 Stonewall uprising, sparked by a police raid on a gay bar and tensions between law enforcement and some parts of the LGBTQ community still exist, a half century later. The ban is set to last until at least 2025.
Last year, the NYPD attacked marchers or partiers twice during Pride weekend.
The role police officers should play in the annual parade has been debated for years, but it took on new heat amid a national reckoning around police brutality.
New York City’s streets a year ago were awash in protests over the death of George Floyd and clashes between demonstrators and officers.
Multiple users on Twitter explained the sudden presence of NYPD officers around the park