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Dueling anti-racist and pro-cop rallies in Brooklyn turned ugly this weekend, as video captured a Black Lives Matter protester being tased and violently arrested by the New York Police Department on Sunday.
A video showing a Black man described as a protester was posted to Twitter. While the events leading up to what was posted are unclear, the video shows a cop pushing the man and another officer attacking him. As the protester is standing on the sidewalk yelling, “Y’all see this?” the second officer pulls out a stun gun and fires it at him, sending him to the ground. A group of four officers then arrests him.
New York City council member Justin Brannan, who represents the Dyker Heights neighborhood where the protests took place, retweeted the video and said he had called for a full investigation from the NYPD and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The previous day saw a large rally that was purportedly in support of the NYPD, but which featured Trump flags and local Republican politicians such as Nicole Maliotakis, a member of the New York State Assembly who’s running for Congress.
Video captured during the rally showed pro-cop demonstrators hurling insults and physically attacking the small group of counter-protesters who showed up. In one video, a white man tells the person filming him that their “mother’s a cunt” and then spits on them.
Another video shows the same man calling protesters “bitches” and saying they should be raped.
During the march, pro-NYPD protesters attacked Freedom News TV journalist Oliya Scootercaster with her own camera equipment and broke it, according to the Gothamist. A video taken by a neighbor showed the attack.
In a second round of protests on Sunday in the same neighborhood, multiple fights broke out including one in which a woman was punched in the face. Video also captured eggs being thrown at NYPD officers.
No arrests were made on Saturday and two were made on Sunday, according to NBC New York.
Brannan and New York State Sen. Andrew Gounardes, who represents Dyker Heights in the legislature, released a joint statement on Sunday condemning the violence and “hateful rhetoric” from both sides of the demonstrations, including the egg-throwing and the burning of an American flag. Gounardes and Brannan pinned the blame on local conservative leaders such as Maliotakis for not keeping pro-cop demonstrators in check during Saturday’s rally.
“We want to be clear that this turn of events is entirely on the hands of the local organizers, elected officials, and candidates that planned and supported this weekend's marches and did not forcefully denounce the violence, racism, and misogyny of yesterday's protest in Dyker Heights,” the two said.
"Your continued failure to deescalate the tensions you've stoked will only lead to more pain for our community."
Cover: Twitter/Justin Brannan