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Black Liberation March Meant to Commemorate MLK Turns Violent, 11 Cops Injured

Black Liberation March Meant to Commemorate MLK Turns Violent, 11 Cops Injured

by Leah AnayaJanuary 19, 2021

New York, NY – During a Black Liberation March on Martin Luther King Day in New York, 11 officers were injured following a dispersal order. The march started from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and moved toward City Hall.

Twenty-eight arrests were made during the event after the violence started. Most arrests were made for “disorderly conduct, obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest and blocking the roadway.”

The Daily News reported, “Out of those arrested, one had their arrest voided, officials said. Seven received desk appearance tickets for misdemeanor assault, resisting arrest and obstructing government administration. An additional 21 received summonses for disorderly conduct.”

One of the officers injured was hit in the head with a glass bottle. None of the officers were reported to be in serious condition.

The point of the march, of course, was to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, who stood for peace and equality changed through peaceful means. Black Lives Matter reportedly led the march, as well as the hundreds of rallies and riots over 2020.

The mainstream media is reporting that police “ordered marchers onto the sidewalk, only to plunge into the crowd and make arrests.” They interviewed multiple demonstrators that said police were being “violent.”

New York Attorney General Letitia James followed a lawsuit last week against the New York City Police Department, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea and Chief of Department Terry Monahan alleging “excessive force” by the police during riots over 2020.

The lawsuit states, in part, “There is no question that the NYPD engaged in a pattern of excessive, brutal, and unlawful force against peaceful protesters. Over the past few months, the NYPD has repeatedly and blatantly violated the rights of New Yorkers, inflicting significant physical and psychological harm and leading to great distrust in law enforcement. With today’s lawsuit, this longstanding pattern of brutal and illegal force ends. No one is above the law — not even the individuals charged with enforcing it.”

Specifically, James points to a June 4 event that started as a protest in the Bronx and quickly turned violent.

Pat Lynch, president of the Police Benevolent Association, following the filing of the lawsuit said, “We will say it again: what we witnessed in June was a failure of New York City’s leadership. They sent cops out to police unprecedented protests and violent riots with no plan, no strategy and no support. They should be forced to answer for the resulting chaos, instead of pointing fingers at cops on the streets and ignoring the criminals who attacked us with bricks and firebombs.”

In several interviews, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said some of the protesters “were hellbent on hurting cops.” He said, “Whatever this was it certainly didn’t represent a peaceful protest. This is the protest that we see on a day honoring Martin Luther King. It consisted of violence, threats, bottles being thrown and people calling for the death of police officers.

“[This] wasn’t created by the police, it was created by people who want to destroy our city.”

In one interview, Shea said, “It’s getting to the point where we have to ask how long we are going to allow the greatest city in the world to be strangled by 40 to 50 to 100 people who don’t like our way of life?”

About The Author
Leah Anaya
Leah Anaya
Leah Anaya is a medically retired police officer. She served for three years at the Oakland Police Department, and just under five at a department in Washington State. Before that, she was an intelligence analyst in the US Army. She is now a stay at home mom living with her husband, who is still serving as a police officer, and their three children. She also grew up as the daughter of a police officer in California. Leah is now a writer and Deputy Editor at Law Enforcement News Network as well as the Business Manager for Washington State FOP. She's a peer support advocate for The Wounded Blue and Serve and Protect. You can find her on social media @leahmsanaya or at
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