The incident happened at an early voting poll site at the Miccio Center in Red Hook.
On the first day of early voting in Red Hook, @NYPD76Pct officers confronted community activists handing out PPE in front of an early polling site & then seized it. This is unacceptable, the NYPD must issue clear guidelines & not escalate situations at the polls. pic.twitter.com/vcB5Am9IXa— Carlos Menchaca 萬齊家 (@NYCCouncil38) October 24, 2020
Community groups that handed out the PPE, hand sanitizer, COVID-19 printed materials and voter information were told they were too close to the polling location.
After some back and forth, the PPE and literature were returned.
At the request of election officials, officers asked these individuals repeatedly to comply with election rules. After refusing to comply their property was removed.— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) October 24, 2020
Upon further discussion, they agreed to relocate to an appropriate area, and their property was returned. https://t.co/8kcXpZzsEh
Brooklyn Council Member Carlos Menchaca, community leaders, community advocates held a press conference Sunday in Red Hook to call attention to the incident. The community groups involved want assurances from NYPD officials that it won't happen again.
"We need election protection and under no circumstances allow voter suppression or intimidation by police actions," Menchaca said in a statement. "The incident, captured on camera, has brought to light the need for immediate action, clarity and new training during this tense election season. New Yorkers have the right to film enforcement interactions."
The NYPD responded by saying that they "acted at the request of the NYC Board of Elections/polling place personnel who control polling places."
"The group present was blaring loud music within ten feet of the door and refused the request of New York Election Officials to move an appropriate distance," authorities said. "Police were asked to assist and did."
No summonses were given and no arrests were made.
RELATED: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to join voters on 2nd day of New York early voting
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