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(OCCUPY CITY HALL, NEW YORK CITY) — Protesters expanded “Occupy City Hall” and descended into infighting early Tuesday morning, just hours ahead of the city council’s vote on the NYPD budget.

Hundreds of protesters have been occupying about a block of land across the street from City Hall and are demanding the city cuts at least $1 billion from the NYPD’s budget.

A group from the occupy area tried to expand the zone Tuesday morning. Numerous altercations broke out among protesters and the morning ultimately ended with a standoff against police. (RELATED: ‘A Pitiful, A Parasitic, A Pathogenic Politician’: New York City Protesters Rip Mayor De Blasio)


Protesters have expanded the Occupy City Hall zone and have taken over / are trying to solidify the intersection surrounding the building in NY early Tuesday morning:

— Shelby Talcott (@ShelbyTalcott) June 30, 2020

The infighting ranged from verbal disagreements to a physical altercation. In one disagreement, a man can be seen confronting another man about disrespecting the woman he was with. Other arguments broke out regarding how to properly protest, and still others were prompted by unknown causes.

Police appeared to remain outside the area and more arrived as the morning wore on.

Reporters on the ground were repeatedly confronted by protesters for filming in the public area. The infighting appeared to subside as the morning continued, according to a live stream of the zone. Efforts became more focused on standing off with a large squad of officers in front of City Hall.

Protesters clashed at times with officers, who were outfitted in riot gear, according to reports. NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said the situation became physical between officers and protesters after some individuals allegedly tried to “promote conflict,” according to WPIX 11.

It is unclear if the Occupy City Hall expansion remained as of later Tuesday morning.

The deadline for council members to decide on the NYPD’s budget is Tuesday. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio put forth a plan that would agree to the protester’s demands and cut $1 billion from the NYPD budget, although it remains unclear if the plan will pass.

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Gennica Cochran IDd as Server Involved in Michael Lofthouse Altercation

Instagram/Gennica Cochran Gennica Cochran pictured on her Instagram page.

Gennica Cochran is the server who demanded that Michael Lofthouse leave the Barnardus Lodge in Carmel Valley, California on July 4. The incident was captured on video and spread across the world. The video shows one of the servers at the Barnardus Lodge confronting Lofthouse and demanding that he leave.

Cochran tells Lofthouse, “Get out of here! You are not allowed here! You don’t talk to our guests like that! You need to leave right now! Get out! You are not allowed here ever again!” As a result of her stand, a man named Jeremy Stephens started a GoFundMe page to honor Cochran. Stephens writes in the description of the page that it is important to stand up to racists, it’s just as important to “lift up the people who stand up to defend those who are on the receiving end of such racism.” At the time of writing, the page has raised close to $14,000. The original goal of the page was $1,000.

Stephens described Cochran as displaying “passionate fury” against Lofthouse. He added that Cochran could have put her job at risk with her words.

According to members of the Chan family, who were at the restaurant celebrating a birthday party, Lofthouse had been spewing racial slurs at the group all night. The woman who posted the original video of the incident, Jordan Chan, said in an interview with KION 456 that Lofthouse was drunk during the incident. In an interview with The Daily Mail, Lofthouse’s mother, Linda, confirmed that her son has an alcohol problem and referred to him as a “loose cannon.”

Lofthouse has responded to the scandal in a statement via KSBW’s Felix Cortez:

My behavior in the video is appalling. This was clearly a moment where I lost control and made incredibly hurtful and divisive comments.

I would like to deeply apologize to the Chan family. I can only imagine the stress and pain they feel. I was taught to respect people of all races, and I will take the time to reflect on my actions and work to better understand the inequality that so many of those around me face.

In addition, working as a server at the Barnardus Lodge, Cochran seems to be better known as a yoga teacher in the Carmel Valley area. According to one online profile, Cochran is a 500+ hour certified teacher. Cochran learned her craft at the Mount Madonna School of Yoga in 2010. That bio says that Cochran was influenced by Indian yoga master Baba Hari Dass. The bio says that Cochran was inspired by Dass to live a life dedicated to “service, compassion, and grace.”

The profile goes on to say that Cochran encourages her students to “explore their practice with intention, focus and humility.” The piece adds that Cochran wants her students to understand who they are, “powerful, connected, intuitive beings.” The profile gives Cochran’s “Favorite Escape” as the Hiking Garland Ranch Park which is located a mile west of the Barnardus Lodge in the Carmel Valley.

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