NYC Demonstrators Say Video Proves Charges in Protest Against ICE Should Be Dropped

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Demonstrators who were arrested Saturday in New York City's Times Square while protesting federal immigration officials and city police are demanding charges against them are dropped.

Most of the 86 protesters were charged with disorderly after they took to the streets to accuse U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement of mistreating migrants, including claims that migrants were subjected to questionable hysterectomies at a detention center in Georgia. They say the NYPD did not allow them to enough time to get off the crosswalk and they were violently arrested for exercising their First Amendment right.

In a video released Monday by the group of protesters (seen in the video player above), police can be heard on a loudspeaker, ordering people to stop blocking traffic.

"You are ordered to leave the roadway and utilize the available sidewalk, if you remain in the roadway and refuse to utilize the sidewalk, you will be placed under arrest and charged with disorderly conduct," the voice said.

Luis Galilei, one of the protesters seen in the video, says the police didn't allow the group of protesters enough time to disperse before the arrests.

"As we stepped foot onto the crosswalk, they began to play the recording. And once they played the recording, they waited no sort of time for us to get off and they charged us," said Galilei.

No injuries were reported in the incident.

Other demonstrators shouted “Black Lives Matter” and “abolish the police," and many chose to sit down on the crosswalk because they said they were told that they could not march on the streets.

"The NYPD must consider the precedent they set when they effectively make it illegal to protest peacefully. Protesters were not given ample time to safely exit the area. The police have a legal obligation to provide protesters with an opportunity for safe egress," the group of protesters said in a statement.

NBC New York has reached out to the police department for comment.

Copyright NBC New York/Associated Press
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