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New York City protesters target police vehicles, light fires

Written by on July 27, 2020

Anti-cop demonstrators wreaked havoc in Lower Manhattan on Saturday night, setting fires and vandalizing several NYPD vehicles.

The chaos and destruction can be seen on video and was meant as a show of solidarity with protesters in Portland and Seattle, according to officials and police sources.

Video of the night’s unrest shows vandals defacing a trio of marked NYPD vans, tagging them with graffiti, slashing their tires and attempting to smash in their windows with a signpost and the wheel of a bicycle.

Another segment of the video shows four demonstrators jumping atop a marked department SUV, one of them holding an inverted American flag with the message “F–k NYPD” scrawled across it in black.

All told, six marked NYPD vehicles were vandalized.

Police on Monday said they’re looking for a man in his 20s or 30s who allegedly vandalized three unoccupied, parked police cars around 11 p.m. Saturday on Essex Street near Rivington Street on the Lower East Side. The damage included several broken windows, slashed tires and spray paint graffiti.

A few hundred demonstrators assembled at Rivington and Ludlow streets on the Lower East Side, and from there marched towards One Police Plaza, sowing chaos along the way, sources said.

As the night wound on, fires were lit in several street-corner garbage cans, part of a surreal scene that played out as protesters, cops and everyday New Yorkers dining out at restaurants’ outdoor patios crossed paths.

“F–k you, pigs!” one demonstrator could be heard screaming at lines of riot gear-equipped cops in one moment captured on video.

Tensions came to a head near Confucius Plaza in Chinatown, where cops played a recorded order to disperse.

“If you leave voluntarily, no charges will be placed against you,” the recording said. “If you refuse to leave, you will be arrested for unlawful assembly.”

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NYPD officers attempt to arrest the group of protesters during the “Solidarity with Portland,” protest in Lower Manhattan.

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An NYPD officer uses a stun gun on a demonstrator.

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A protester kicks a police vehicle in an attempt to break its side mirror.

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More than a dozen people evidently opted for the latter, as at least 18 arrests were made for unlawful assembly, sources said.

The unrest was billed as a show of solidarity with Portland, Ore., a city increasingly marked by violent clashes between demonstrators and authorities including federal agents deployed by the Trump administration.

Similar chaos on Saturday gripped Atlanta, Seattle and Baltimore.

The nationwide furor was sparked with the May death of George Floyd, a black man, beneath the knee of a white cop in Minneapolis.

New York in particular suffered several nights of widespread vandalism and looting in the days following Floyd’s death.

Additional reporting by Amanda Woods

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