Jun 30, 2020
New York City protesters scuffle with police outside City Hall ahead of budget hearing; 2 arrested
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New York City police arrested two “Occupy City Hall” protesters overnight Tuesday, while the morning hours gave way to scuffles between officers and demonstrators who have camped out for a week to demand Mayor Bill De Blasio “defund the police.”
As the “occupation” in front of New York’s City Hall entered its eighth consecutive day, police said two arrests were made: one man for graffiti and another for assault on an officer.
POLS FACE IRE OF 'DEFUND THE POLICE' FORCE, FROM SEATTLE TO NEW YORK CITY
Anti-police graffiti was scrawled on the Surrogate’s Courthouse overnight, reading “Euthanize Swine” and “ACAB,” which stands for “All Cops Are Bastards,” WPIX-TV reported.
Video posted online shows fighting and shoving breaking out between several protesters and police Tuesday morning.
WPIX reporter Anthony DiLorenzo captured video of police trying to move protesters away from the street and removing metal barricades around the park outside City Hall, at protesters' encampment. He reported that set off scuffles with protesters.
Protesters have refused to leave the encampment until De Blasio meets demands to slash the police budget by $1 billion following weeks of protests over the death of George Floyd and other black Americans killed by law enforcement. The department's budget is about $6 billion, and the city has a July 1 budget deadline.
“We’ve done different levels of escalation to make sure we’re getting their attention,” Jonathan Lykes, one of the movement’s organizers, told The Associated Press. “If they defund the police by $1 billion then we have won — but that’s only our demand this week.”
DE BLASIO PROPOSES MASSIVE NYPD BUDGET CUT
De Blasio, in turn, proposed a plan that would cede to the protesters' demand for the $1 billion cut in police funding.
"My office presented to City Council a plan that would achieve the billion in savings for the NYPD and shift resources to young people, to communities in a way that would help address a lot of the underlying issues that we know are the cause of so many problems in our society," he said Monday.
The NYPD has about 36,000 officers. Asked if that number will hold, De Blasio responded: “Whatever we do in terms of headcount has to keep the city safe.”
Patrick Lynch, head of the Police Benevolent Association union, said the proposed cuts will lead to fewer cops on the streets amid a spike in shootings that has lasted several weeks.
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“We will say it again: the Mayor and the City Council have surrendered the city to lawlessness. Things won’t improve until New Yorkers hold them responsible,” Lynch said in written statement.
Fox News' Tyler Olson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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Protesters block road leading to Mount Rushmore ahead of Trump event
Protesters blocked an access road to Mount Rushmore Friday, hours before President Trump was set to give a speech to kick off Independence Day weekend.
According to the Associated Press, the protest group was mostly Native Americans protesting that South Dakota’s Black Hills were taken from the Lakota people against treaty agreements.
TRUMP TO ACCUSE 'LEFT-WING MOB' OF 'TOTALITARIAN BEHAVIOR' IN MOUNT RUSHMORE REMARKS
One group parked three vans across the road and took the tires from two of them to make it more difficult to remove them. Several demonstrators climbed on top of the vans chanting “Land back!” Police warned the protesters to disperse but didn’t take any immediate action against them.
The sheriff’s office said attendees had been told to arrive early so should have been past the roadblock. However, the Rapid City Journal reported that some motorists who had tickets for Friday evening's fireworks show were unable to get through the protests and were standing by their cars watching the standoff.
The Journal also reported that law enforcement in riot gear as well as members of the National Guard had arrived on the scene and declared an unlawful assembly.
The news outlet reported that the lower bowl of the amptheater where Trump was scheduled to speak at approximately 8:50 p.m. local time was full, but there were many empty seats in the upper level.
President Trump has been outspoken against the recent protests happening nationwide, targeting historical monuments and statues demonstrators feel represent a pattern of systematic racism in the U.S.
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Sources confirmed for Fox News earlier Friday that President Trump planned on addressing the “totalitarian behavior that is completely alien to American life” and the “cancel culture” he believes is being pushed by the left.
He is also expected to emphasize America’s history as a “great and virtuous country.”
“You can expect the president to express strong support for America’s military, the men and women of our police, and so many of our cherished principles and institutions that are under attack daily from the left," a senior administration official told Fox News in a statement Friday evening.
The Associated Press and Fox News' John Roberts contributed to this report.