Long Island News Post Published on June, 8th 2020, Written by Nick P.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran was quick to praise the police response to protests in Merrick, where 11 people were arrested on Saturday. In a mostly peaceful protest against police brutality, agitators were quick to be dealt with appropriately before they were able to cause harm to others or local communities.
“They’re calm and they’re focused and they are doing an excellent job de-escalating tensions, working with protesters in order to avoid conflict,” Laura Curran said during a news briefing in Mineola. Curran said the protesters were mostly peaceful. It was also noted that a police lieutenant got on a knee and prayed with protesters.
Ten of the eleven people who were arrested were between the ages of 20-59. The other protestor who was arrested was 15 years old.
Curran went on to say “I have to just reinforce that violence against police will not be tolerated,” A police sergeant suffered a broken ankle and will require surgery, and another officer suffered a scratched cornea during the arrests, Curran said.
Why Were Protesters Arrested?
Laura Curran stated that a small group of Merrick protestors were inciting people to run across the Meadowbrook Parkway for about four and half hours before any arrests were made. The rain which came later in the afternoon made this dangerous and is when the arrested started.
Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder stated “My cops are not bad people, my cops are the good guys,” he said. “They took an unleashing of vulgarity and called us murderers and everything else as we walked that route with them. Nobody engaged. All stayed calm, all stayed professional.” Ryder also stressed that no protesters were injured during the arrests and said he was proud of the officers’ actions.
Where Were The Long Island Protests?
Protestors took the streets over the weekend where they marched throughout many towns on Long Island. There were many protests held Saturday and 18 which were planned for Sunday.
One protest took place in Huntington. Hundreds of people gathered to protest police brutality, where they chanted "Hands up, don't shoot!". The chants then changed over to “I can't breathe”, which were the last words of George Floyd.
One protestor, Kimberly Klien, says she felt obligated to attend the protest. "Me not coming is nothing but privilege,” she said. “Black people don't get that choice. I'm tired of hearing about racism and people dying. Rain or shine we're here because we're ready and it's time to end inequality and racism."
Protests are expected to continue in the coming days on Long Island, New York City, and around the world. Peaceful protests are a great way to make the public's voice heard but are very different from the riots we have seen in similar places.
Rioting doesn't accomplish anything and does not honor the Floyd family of George Floyd in any way. We ask that if you are going to attend a protest, that you remain peaceful. If you truly believe in All Lives Matter, you will think twice before spray painting someone else's business or causing property damage for another Long Island.
We will have to see whether any significant reforms come to the Nassau and Suffolk County Police Departments. Currently, only Suffolk County and Freeport Police are required to wear body cams
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Long Island News Post Published June 8th, 2020
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