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Protester arrested after allegedly attempting to strangle NYPD officer with a chain

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A protester in lower Manhattan last night allegedly shoved an NYPD officer to the ground and proceeded to try and strangle him with a chain. The attack took place somewhere near Bond Street and Broadway in Greenwich Village. This was the second consecutive night of protests over the 2020 election where police and activists clashed.

18 were arrested. “Some were issued summonses and released. Charges and further updates to follow,” an NYPD spokesperson said.

Hundreds of people took to the streets in protest. There was a colorful array of personalities in the mix as well as political activists. Participants marched to show support for transgender lives, Black Lives Matter, and awareness of police brutality, and protection of election results.

The NYPD said a person with a knife was apprehended at E. 12th Street and Fourth Avenue. “Levon Wheeler was engaged with officers and in the course of arrest being made, he pushed a large heavy (bike) chain to the arresting officer’s neck,” police stated.

“The suspect was apprehended & will be charged with assault, criminal possession of a weapon & attempted strangulation,” NYPD News said on Twitter.

The NYPD tweeted out a photo of the chain with the message: “Violence – in any form – is unacceptable. We will be reviewing this incident, and bring any additional perpetrators to justice.”

A peaceful rally that started at the LGBTQ landmark Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village dispersed and another protest formed at Union Square, where the situation was heated. Chaos quickly ensued.

The police also allegedly shoved members of the press and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams during another skirmish in lower Manhattan last night. Video taken by Wall Street Journal reporter Katie Honan shows officers using their bicycles to push Williams back.

“NYPD knocks me to the ground as they use bicycles to push protesters further into Union Square Park after getting them off the street,” Stern tweeted.

City officials decried the incident. “Our Public Advocate @JumaaneWilliams has a long history of going to protests specifically to join with New Yorkers while de-escalating tensions. There’s no sense in this, @NYCMayor. Where are you?,” state Sen. Brad Hoylman tweeted.

Williams tweeted that police were aggressively trying to clear the street and appeared to be ready for mass arrests.

“We intervened to try and de-escalate and prevent that,” Williams tweeted.

State Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou added: “Pushing @JumaaneWilliams our public advocate?! This is not appropriate! What is going on right now?!”

In Union Square, 1010 WINS radio reporter Roger Stern fell to the ground near the park’s steps in the chaos when police there tried to control the crowd using their bikes as well.

During the “We Choose Freedom” event people carried rainbow, Antifa, and Black Lives Matter flags while marching in the street. Extra police were drawn to the area amid uncertainty over the presidential election.

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea has said officers have shown “an amazing amount of restraint” in dealing with protesters this week.

 

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