July 15 2020 – BROOKLYN BRIDGE: As a law enforcement supporters and religious group “The Power of Prayer March” demonstration prepared to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, counter-protesters approached from the opposite side to engage with the pro-cop marcher promoted by the SBA.
Police instructed the pro-cop marchers to pause citing an “emergency on the bridge”, NYPD rushed at the counter-protestor group, arresting them as they walked backwards, throwing people on the ground and pulling a female organizer by her hair. The police also told reporters to leave the bridge and the bridge pedestrian walkway unless they want their press credentials revoked and arrested.
About 34 counter protesters were arrested and reports came through of officers injured with facial lacerations. When the march arrived at City Hall, a preacher can be heard declaring, “this is not a police rally, this is a church rally,” as people with SBA banners and police union flags were present and prominent in the crowd.
As seen in Gothamist Video by Jake Offenhartz, Chief Judith Harrison, new commander of Brooklyn North spoke at the pro-police rally in uniform: “People tried to stop us on the bridge. Do you know why they didn’t stop us? Because of the power of prayer.” Our video instead shows NYPD clearing protesters off the bridge.
The flier that was heavily circulated for this event specified it as a “Back The Blue” rally, only during the event did we see the original flier which was for a Prayer March only called “The Jericho March – The Power Of Prayer”
“I helped with the organization of this this March and believe me when I tell you NYPD completely tried to change the narrative. At the time we had no idea why the protesters where so damn upset with a march for God” said Alejandro Zayas, one of the organizers of the Jericho March that was “hijacked” by the blue lives matter movement.
The Prayer March was organized by a coalition of Black clergy leaders as a community-focused Christian unity event. Their flyer called for reforms to policing, health care and education, and included no mention of “Back The Blue” support.
A separate flier was distributed by the SBA , Sergeants Benevolent Association, flier said” Law Enforcement Needs Assistance, Power Of Prayer March, Clergy & Law Enforcement.” and. “Stop The Violence, Support Law Enforcement”
SBA flier drew counter-protests from Black Lives Matter, who were arrested and cleared off he bridge when march was about to start.
Three officers sustained minor and serious injuries while making the arrests on what appears to be the Manhattan side of the bridge.
The Prayer March, when found out how the BLM protesters were treated, came up to them to have a meeting. That is when they state they found out about violence, arrests and the alternative SBA flier that prompted the event as Law Enforcement support.