NEW YORK, NY—New York Police Commissioner James O’Neill announced today that New York City’s protest police officers will not be allowed to break up protests, even if the police are acting violently, as part of a sweeping plan to curb violent protests in the city.
“While I would never condone violence against anyone, I will not tolerate protesters and protesters setting the stage for violence,” O’Neil said in a statement.
“In the spirit of reconciliation, we are taking a step back from our commitment to the First Amendment and we are focusing on creating a more inclusive environment for our community, rather than allowing anyone to use violence to achieve their goals.”
The New York Post reported that protesters will be allowed only to break the law if they act violently, such as breaking windows, throwing rocks, and striking people.
O’Brien said that protesters who break the laws of the street will be subject to arrest and citations.
“Our job is to enforce the law and stop the violence,” he said.
“We will not interfere with peaceful protests.
And we will not allow anyone to set the stage by causing harm or death.”
O’Donnell said that the goal of the policy is to prevent violence from escalating from protests.
O-Net News reported that demonstrators were expected to march in the streets on Thursday and Friday, but were instead expected to avoid confrontation with police.
O’-Neill said that he will continue to seek legal and legislative solutions to the protests, and will hold demonstrations accountable for the results of the protests.
He said that officers will use force only when necessary to protect themselves and the community.
“I will continue working closely with police on this and I know the community is going to come to the same conclusion,” he added.
ODonnell said in the statement that the Police Department is focused on “reinforcing the rule of law and protecting the public from violence.”
Protesters will be required to remain inside the New York State Police Headquarters at 2 p.m. on Thursday, but O’Malley said that they can still march around the building.
He also announced that he has reached out to the mayor of San Francisco to help with the crisis.