Police and witness video show that on Saturday, protesters upset about Jordan Neely’s chokehold death took over a busy Manhattan subway stop, with some of them jumping to the tracks close to the electrified third rail.
When its operator noticed protesters on the tracks, a downtown-bound Q train carrying about 450 passengers halted short of the Lexington Ave. and E. 63rd St. station, according to an MTA representative.
According to witnesses, police made at least seven arrests at the Upper East Side stop. Even hours later, some of those detained were still being processed on the site.
The tweet below confirms the news of the protest:
Protesters Block Subway Tracks, Arrests
Videos showed a line of demonstrators blocking the downtown tracks for the F and Q trains at the station. A protest sign was held up by at least one individual. The third rail, which typically carries about 600 volts of electricity and is capable of instantly killing someone, was guarded by one man standing above the protective board.
Here below is the video:
According to an MTA representative, it took the agency till 6:21 p.m. to turn off all the electricity in the region after receiving reports of demonstrators on the tracks.
The stopped train’s headlights could be seen moving up the rails in the footage.
On the opposing tracks, the demonstrators blocked a train’s doors for around 15 minutes, according to a witness.
“There was calm. Desmond Marriero, 27, from the Bronx, described how he and other protesters were “doing our thing” when the cops arrived and ordered everyone to disperse.
“And then they just started arresting, attacking, and snatching people before anyone could get out of the way. Because the police like to cover themselves, you couldn’t actually see what was happening.
Another woman, who only wished to be known as Veronica, claimed that the responding police used “excessive force” and “abuse of authority.”
Jumping to the rails was “dangerous” and “reckless,” according to NYC Transit President Richard Davey.
While peaceful demonstrations have always been a part of American culture, Davey argued that purposely putting transit employees and emergency personnel in danger while also holding up New Yorkers who are simply trying to get where they need to go is unacceptable.
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