Reverend Al Sharpton, Nicole Bell-Paultre, Joseph Guzman, Trent Benefield and dozens of others were arrested today (May 7) in the area surrounding New York Police Department Headquarters, One Police Plaza.
This was only one of the six locations throughout the city that Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network designated as citywide “Slowdown” and “Pray In” locations.
The event began peacefully as scheduled around 3:00 PM, as protesters gathered and marched in designated areas waiving posters and counting off shots, as they chanted “50 shots, fight back” and “we are all Sean Bell” in unison.
Those that chose to get arrested crowded together in an act of organized disobedience.
Names and birthdays were given to organizers, as the volunteers were warned that once they left the designated area they would be arrested.
Hundreds looked on as protesters lined up and marched their way toward a barricade of officers waiting with plastic hand restraints and paddy wagons to take them away.
At the front of this line was none other than, Rev. Al Sharpton, Nicole Bell-Paultre, Joseph Guzman, and Trent Benefield, as they were the first to be arrested.
Those that were arrested ranged in age, gender, and race.
“Not only is it [police brutality] a threat to young [people], it’s a threat to all people, not only to black but to white people. We’re getting to a point where were almost in a police state where were getting controlled by force and power of the gun,” said protestor William Newby, who was one of the many to be arrested.
Each of those arrested stepped to the front of the line holding their heads high, counting off shots in unison with the crowd.
“We are here to stand for and testify for what we believe is justice,” added DJ Chela, another to be arrested.
Other citywide “Slowdown” and “Pray In” locations included; 125th Street and Third Ave, 60th Street and Third Ave, Varick and Houston Streets, and the House of the Lord Church in Brooklyn.
This is just one of many instances of civil disobedience that have come about in the wake of the Sean Bell Verdict.