A coalition of activists issued a scathing statement Monday, addressed to NYPD Police Commissioner William Bratton and police union leader Patrick Lynch.
The letter, signed by over a dozen grass-roots organizations, including Black Lives Matter and Brooklyn Movement Center, charges the NYPD with attempting to silence the protests of those “seeking justice for victims of police violence,” as well as “reckless attempts to conflate constitutionally protected protest activities with the tragic murders of officers Ramos and Liu.”
On Monday, de Blasio and Bratton held a press conference inside the police department’s Manhattan headquarters, asking that protesters put on hold their demonstrations against police brutality in the wake of Garner and Brown’s deaths. For weeks, they have marched through city streets and staged peaceful protests to call for reforms in how police interact with communities of color.
“Let’s just focus on the families and what they have lost. I think that’s the right way to move toward building a more unified and decent city,” said de Blasio.
“We’ve responded by meeting in our homes, offices, and school—and walking out of them, with our hands up. Thousands of others have organized small actions that when woven together have tremendous impact. The problem isn’t the diverse voices that participate in dissent, a cornerstone of our democracy,” the letter stated.
The activists asked those “who stand on the side of justice to join us.”
While there have been a number of vigils held for the police officers by protesters in the last few days, today saw the continuation of protests against police use of force. A group of youth protest leaders in New York rallied in Union Square on Monday. Another group intends to hold a press conference Tuesday announcing plans for a New Year’s Eve protest.
Boy, this guy just can't make anyone happy lately.