Police in New York have begun arresting protesters in Manhattan’s Midtown district, as crowds remain out on the streets in violation of the citywide 8 p.m. curfew.
After a day of mostly peaceful protests, the last remaining group of Manhattan demonstrators spent the past few hours marching north, starting from the lower end of Midtown up toward Central Park.
Then, as night fell and the protesters reached 57th Street, “officers just started moving in and making arrests,” said CNN Correspondent Shimon Prokupecz, reporting from the scene. “One of the officers was swinging his baton, and the captain actually pulled him back after seeing this officer doing this.”
Officers then began making arrests without any warning or announcement beforehand, Prokupecz said, estimating the police numbered in the hundreds.
“They came east, they came west, and they just swarmed this area. It was clear that they wanted to move in and take these demonstrators off the street,” Prokupecz said.
On the other side of the East River, protesters also faced off with police in Brooklyn — but here, they managed to defuse some of the tension in a moment of shared unity.
Tensions threatened briefly to boil over when protesters, numbering a little over a hundred, were met with a line of police officers. Then, one of the police chiefs reached out to speak with the protesters, shook some of their hands, and deescalated the situation, said CNN Correspondent Jason Carroll.
“It’s the first time since we’ve been out here where we’ve seen police engage some of these protesters in this way,” Carroll said. “It’s an incredible thing you see there, Chief (Jeffrey) Maddrey still talking and engaging with these young men and women … These officers are trying to engage with the community.”