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Watch: NYPD Seemingly Pepper Sprays Pride Crowd, Twitter Reacts

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Monday June 28, 2021

New York City's Pride celebrations were marred by a situation at Washington Park in which police seemingly used pepper spray on revelers at a June 27 gathering, local news channel WABC reported.

"A woman says police started pepper-spraying people and became physical at around 7:45 p.m. Sunday," the news station detailed. Seven people were arrested, three of which for allegedly assaulting police.

"One woman in her 20s allegedly bit an officer, another woman in her 20s threw a water bottle at an officer, and a man was arrested for assaulting a police officer," the WABC report added.

What's more, Forbes noted the clash took place after New York Pride banned police from taking part in the event.

"The force's presence at Pride was supposed to be minimal and NYC Pride arranged for private security to be in place, though Business Insider's Meredith Cash tweeted that there were "hundreds of officers" at the event."

Video captured by a bystander at the scene of the incident made its way to Twitter.

The scene was reminiscent of an incident that transpired last year when, according to Buzzfeed, "Multiple firsthand accounts and viral tweets said the NYPD used excessive force on people participating in the Queer Liberation March" when at least two people claimed they "saw police running into crowds, using pepper spray, and beating protesters with batons near Washington Square Park."

Participants also claimed that, much like the alleged events of June 2020, things escalated at the June 27 event when police intervened with what Pride celebrants said was a peaceful event.

Many social media users have since decried the incident as unnecessary police violence.

Watch the WABC news clip below:

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.