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Video clips and photos posted to social media appear to show police at this weekend's New York Pride celebration pepper spraying a crowd around Washington Square Park.
\u201cThere\u2019s talk of mace happening right now at Washington Square Park. There is a sea of cops here.\u201d— Christine Chung (@Christine Chung) 1624835062
Police arrested eight people Sunday night after confrontations between Pride-goers and police, according to the Associated Press.
\u201cI am currently watching NYPD charge Washington Square Park with riot gear (helmets, pepper spray, batons) \u2026 potentially to break up pride celebrations? It certainly looks like they are confronting people celebrating pride from my vantage point\u201d— Meredith Cash (@Meredith Cash) 1624835445
Two people allegedly threw objects at police Sunday night. The AP reported a 23-year-old threw a water bottle and bit an officer while a 20-year-old threw her water at the police. The two women were arrested for assault, criminal possession of a weapon, and resisting arrest.
Two men allegedly slapped police officers and were charged with obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest. Other people were taken into custody but had yet to be charged, according to the AP.
Video circulating online shows a heavy police presence around the park leading up to the confrontations.
\u201cThis is the view in Washington Square Park. The NYPD has blocked off 5th Ave\u201d— Mattie B \ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\ud83c\udf08 (@Mattie B \ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\ud83c\udf08) 1624836438
The American Civil Liberties Union in New York tweeted Sunday, "Once again, police are bringing escalation and violence to Pride. Arrests, riot gear, and pepper spray have no place at a nonviolent and celebratory Pride march."
\u201c1/ Once again, police are bringing escalation and violence to Pride. Arrests, riot gear, and pepper spray have no place at a nonviolent and celebratory Pride march. \n\nThe SRG should stand down and allow Pride-goers to continue their celebrations. Now.\u201d— NYCLU (@NYCLU) 1624840188
While New York City Pride was a scaled-down affair amid the winding down of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., many still gathered for PrideFest in Manhattan, which featured an assortment of food vendors and entertainment.
Pride Parades began in the city in 1970 as a way to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Riots after New York police raided and violently arrested patrons and employees of The Stonewall Inn.