A new agreement handcuffs cops and ensures that more protests will turn into rioting

New York City has once again reached a court settlement that has been deemed unfavorable. As per the terms of the settlement, the city will face difficulties in governance. The settlement has been widely criticized and has been viewed as a setback for the city’s administration. The details of the settlement can be found at the provided link.

The recent development requires the NYPD to put an end to the practice of “kettling,” where they surround and detain crowds of disruptive protesters.

When the news broke that City Hall had approved a $13 million payout to the Black Lives Matter protesters, it was difficult to comprehend. Each rioter was set to receive nearly $10,000 for their participation in the violent chaos that ensued after the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in 2020. The decision to award such a significant sum to those who had engaged in looting, arson, and destruction was already controversial, and this payout only added fuel to the fire.

As a result of the 2020 protests, the tactic of corralling packs of unruly demonstrators before taking action against individual members of the crowd has been put to an end with the settlement of this case.

According to Mayor Eric Adams, this step will guarantee the safeguarding of public safety while also upholding the First Amendment rights of protesters.

What’s going on here? It seems that the protests of 2020 (and even some in the following year) were not only violating COVID-19 curfew regulations but also escalating into violent riots, involving looting and arson.

The Occupy City Hall protest on Wednesday.

The city was engulfed in a series of intense battles that lasted for several nights. An influx of out-of-town anarchists and radicals flooded the streets, hoping to incite a revolution, while criminal gangs took advantage of the chaos to carry out their nefarious activities. The situation was dire, and the authorities struggled to maintain order amidst the mayhem.

In July 2020, protesters were reportedly given bats by provocateurs ahead of a “community and clergy march” against gun violence and in support of the NYPD. The incident occurred at Occupy City Hall and was captured on video. According to reports, the bats were distributed to the protesters who later engaged in a brawl on the Brooklyn Bridge.

It’s a well-known fact that the tactic of kettling a crowd that becomes unruly actually provides more space for peaceful protest. As an example, during the Republican convention in 2004, demonstrations were able to approach the entrances of Madison Square Garden without issue. This demonstrates the effectiveness of this strategy in allowing for peaceful protest while still maintaining safety and control.

An NYPD van burns during a George Floyd protest in May of 2020.

The New York Police Department had employed the tactic of kettling on multiple occasions to disperse the crowds and restore order. However, during the Democratic convention in Boston in the same year, a different approach was taken. A massive “frozen zone” was established, cordoning off a quarter of the city from the general public. This measure was intended to maintain security and keep the situation under control.

How can we better respect the First Amendment rights of protesters?

The recent settlement is a result of the agreements made by former Mayor Bill de Blasio. These agreements have imposed restrictions on certain crime-fighting strategies, including the widely used “vertical patrols” in public housing projects and stopping and questioning individuals who are deemed suspicious by police officers.

The consequences of such settlements are not limited to the NYPD alone. One such settlement gave rise to the absurd “right to shelter,” which now forces the city to spend billions of dollars to provide housing for undocumented immigrants.

It’s not just elected officials who are contributing to the increasing difficulty of New York City to function properly. Court agreements like the one being discussed in this article are also to blame. While this particular agreement may provide some relief in the short term, it’s likely to cause problems down the line. Future mayors and innocent civilians are sure to suffer the consequences of police officers losing an important tool in preventing peaceful protests from turning into violent riots. It’s a frustrating situation that highlights the need for thoughtful, effective policies that prioritize the safety and well-being of all New Yorkers.

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MBS Staff
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