Video: Arrests During Occupy Wall Street March from Zuccotti Park to Union Square

Jared Malsin Video depicting the arrest of Mesiah Hameed. Note: explicit language.
photo(63)Daniel MaurerA woman protests the arrest of Mesiah
Hameed earlier in the day.

Multiple arrests – five of which were witnessed by The Local – occurred this afternoon during a march protesting police brutality organized by the Occupy Wall Street movement. The arrest of a teenager drew outrage when she was carried to a police van with her bra exposed.

Susan Howard, the New York City chapter coordinator for the National Lawyers Guild, said that an estimated 21 people were arrested during Occupy-related activities throughout the day, with “about a dozen” arrested during the march from Zuccotti Park to Union Square. The police were not yet able to confirm a number of arrests.

Videographer Paul Davis, who witnessed the arrest of Mesiah Hameed on Mott Street below Prince Street around 2:50 p.m., said the teenager was obstructing police movement before she was detained. “She was blocking the scooters from going,” he said. “Civil disobedience. Somebody grabbed her, one of the deputy inspectors.”

IMG_9935Jared Malsin

Mr. Davis said Ms. Hameed, who has participated in multiple demonstrations and was present at the clearing of Zuccotti Park, was ordered to disperse and was arrested five to ten seconds later.

As The Local’s cameras rolled, four officers, one wearing a riot helmet, carried the young woman to a waiting police van as protesters yelled, “She’s just 16!” Her hands were cuffed behind her back and her shirt was pulled up to reveal her bra, causing one demonstrator to yell, “You are a child molester!” Others shouted, “Let her go!”

A half hour later, as shown in the video at the bottom of this post, police arrested a young man on Fourth Street east of Broadway. The precise circumstances of the arrest were unclear because police officers quickly closed down a section of the sidewalk, keeping protesters and journalists alike away from the scene.

IMG_0057Jared Malsin

Lying face down on the ground, the man began shouting that the plastic flex-cuffs were cutting circulation to his hands. He shouted, “I am in excruciating pain!” He laid there until a truck arrived and police hauled him into the back with other detainees.

Earlier, another man was arrested as the march crossed Canal Street. The arrested man identified himself as David Salay, right before police removed him from the scene. Officers then ordered the marchers to move out of the street and onto the sidewalk, and told them they would face arrest if they did not comply.

Two young men were also arrested in the street at the corner of Mott and Spring Streets. Speaking from inside the police truck, one arrestee identified himself as Martin Boldet. The arrested demonstrators were taken to the Seventh Precinct headquarters on Pitt Street on the Lower East Side.

The protest had begun calmly with a noon rally in Zuccotti Park where activists and officials including City Council members Jumaane Williams and Ydanis Rodriguez denounced police brutality. Many called for the resignation of Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

IMG_0013Jared Malsin

“I ask for the solidarity of those of you who are white to help people of color to fight against the small percentage of police officers who abuse their power and kill innocent people,” Councilman Rodriguez told those who assembled in the park.

Invoking the name of John Collado, the 43-year-old shot by a plainclothes policeman in Inwood, whose family was present, Councilman Rodriguez said, “Juan Rodriguez, Amadou Diallo, Troy Davis, John Collado: They had one thing in common: Blacks and Latinos.”

For the first two hours, the demonstration had an almost playful tone. The march was visited by a group of activists on bicycles – augmented with cardboard to look like motorcycles – who impersonated police officers. The performance was organized, they said, by the East Village-based environmental group Time’s Up.

But the overall topic of the demonstration was anything but lighthearted. “Our rights are being trampled upon,” said Joseph Sellman, a former secretary of Al Sharpton’s National Action Network. “This is where everyone needs to come and say, ‘We’re not going to take it anymore.’”

IMG_9978Jared Malsin An arrest on Canal Street

He told The Local, “We’re going to see more and more people making their feelings known, with stop and frisk, with the greed of Wall Street, all rolled up into one. It’s ready to explode.”

Saturday’s march gathered strength as it moved slowly to City Hall, One Police Plaza, and the New York Court at One Center Street.

Some 500 protesters were present by the time the group reached Union Square, which became a hub for Occupy activity since police removed a crowd from Zuccotti Park last Saturday. For the past week occupiers have been waging a nightly struggle with police, who have shut down Union Square Park every night at midnight, in keeping with the park’s rarely-observed curfew.

Update | 8:15 p.m. This post was revised to include an update after the National Lawyers Guild confirmed the name of the young woman who was arrested as Mesiah Hameed.

This post has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: March 25, 2012

An earlier version of this blog post misspelled the surname of the former secretary of the National Action Network. It is Sellman, not Salmon.