Hundreds gather to condemn NYU response to arrests during pro-Palestinian protest

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, April 23, 2024
Hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters gather in Washington Square Park
Anthony Carlo is live in Washington Square Park with the latest on the ongoing protests near New York University.

GREENWICH VILLAGE, Manhattan (WABC) -- Plywood barricades were put up Tuesday at NYU as demonstrators staged a walkout -- the day after 120 people were arrested at a pro-Palestinian protest.

On Tuesday afternoon, hundreds gathered in Washington Square park to condemn the response from school administrators that they say was a peaceful protest on school grounds.

The school said it warned the crowd to leave, then called in the police after the scene became disorderly and the university said it learned of reports of "intimidating chants and several antisemitic incidents."

Shortly after 8:30 p.m., a mix of 120 students, faculty and outside agitators were arrested.

Police officials say about 10 to 15 faculty members who locked arms provided the most resistance at the protest and many of the others arrested were not NYU students.

"We have identified individuals who don't attend the schools who are on their campuses," Mayor Eric Adams said Tuesday.

Authorities are still looking for more protesters for questioning, including the person who threw a chair that struck an NYPD officer in his helmet.

The NYPD also released an edited video that purportedly shows protesters throwing bottles at officers who were attempting to disperse the crowd during the demonstrations.

NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Operations Kaz Daughtry and Deputy Commissioner of Public Information Tarik Sheppard talk about the protests on Eyewitness News Mornings @ 10

NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Operations Kaz Daughtry and Deputy Commissioner of Public Information Tarik Sheppard talk about the protests.

Protest organizers say some of the students were maced when police were called in by the university to break up the demonstration on Monday and they also deny that there were any antisemitic incidents.

"We will continue to support individuals' right to freedom of expression, and, as we have said since October, the safety of our students and maintaining an equitable learning environment remain paramount," an NYU spokesperson said.

The arrests at NYU come as Columbia University enters its seventh day of protest on Tuesday. Students are demanding the school divest from companies they say profit from Israel's human rights violations.

Their commencement is in jeopardy as it usually takes place on the lawn where an encampment of protesters remains.

Meanwhile, at Yale University in Connecticut, hundreds of pro-Palestinian protestors were blocking an intersection and chanting outside of the Schwarzmann Center.

A New Haven, Connecticut, police spokesperson said about 45 protesters were arrested at Yale on Monday morning and charged with misdemeanor trespassing. All were being released on promises to appear in court later.

Police officials are currently exploring connections between the Columbia and NYU protests, including who purchased identical tents for the protesters at both universities.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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