Videos: 11 People Arrested During “Rise Up October” Protest Against Police Brutality

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By Ben Yakas in Gothamist 

Eleven people were arrested in Midtown during the #RiseUpOctober protest against police brutality yesterday. Quentin Tarantino, who flew in for the event from California, was one of the featured speakers, along with Cornel West: “When I see murders, I do not stand by,” Tarantino said. “I have to call a murder a murder and I have to call the murderers the murderers.”

“I’m a human being with a conscience,” he told a crowd of over 300 protesters. “And if you believe there’s murder going on then you need to rise up and stand up against it. I’m here to say I’m on the side of the murdered.” When asked by the Post about the timing of the rally—coming less than a week after the fatal shooting of Officer Randolph Holder—Tarantino said, “It’s like this: It’s unfortunate timing, but we’ve flown in all these families to go and tell their stories…That cop that was killed, that’s a tragedy, too.”


The protest got underway in Washington Square Park around midday Saturday, then moved up 6th Avenue to Midtown; people with megaphones shouted stories of the men and women who have been killed by cops as others waved signs with their photos. While things were calm at the start of the event, things got heated as protesters got close to Bryant Park. Keegan Stephan writes:

Despite the fact that the organizers of the protest jumped through the arduous hoops of obtaining a parade permit, the NYPD showed up for the event as if they were prepared for a riot, and deployed numerous questionable tactics, trampling on the demonstrators constitutional rights to free speech and to peaceably gather.

Police say the 11 protesters arrested, which included a woman in her 70s, were cited for charges including disorderly conduct, obstructing vehicular traffic, failing to disperse, and resisting arrest. As of this morning, at least seven of those people have been released.

Two of the arrests were captured on camera, which you can see in the videos below:

Also injured during the event was activist and Asheville, North Carolina radio host Russell Johnson,who told Stephan that “the NYPD shoved him over their metal barricades, hurting his back to the point he feared standing up without an ambulance.” It took over 40 minutes for an ambulance to arrive.

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