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AOC backs protesters who leaped subway turnstiles in New York

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) express support for demonstrators who flooded the streets and the subways in Brooklyn, jumping turnstiles and chanting anti-police slogans in protest of what they describe as police brutality and a crackdown effort on fare evasion.

How we got here: The protests were prompted by viral videos involving the NYPD that occurred on Oct. 25 at different subway stations in Brooklyn, New York. The first clip shows police officers tackling a 19-year-old black man who they believed was armed but later discovered was not. He was charged with theft of services. In the second video, a police officer was seen punching two black teens while he was trying to break up a fight between two groups.

The protests: This sparked accusations of excessive force by the police and that, along with outrage at the city initiative to increase police presence and surveillance to prevent turnstile-hopping, led to the Friday protests. During the demonstrations, the protesters jumped turnstiles and chanted “No cops, no fares” and “How do you spell racist? N-Y-P-D” and vandalized buildings, street signs, and buses, according to the New York Post. “Punch that cop!” “Don’t let these pigs touch us,” and “Hit em!” read some of the signs protesters carried.

NYPD’s statement: The NYPD “does not interfere with Constitutionally-protected activities, and works to ensure public safety as New Yorkers exercise their First Amendment rights … Over the last five years, the NYPD has focused on precision policing.  Our anti-gun and anti-violence strategies, coupled with our Neighborhood Policing philosophy, have allowed our officers to build stronger relationships with the community and drive crime down to historic lows while successfully bringing the most violent offenders to justice.”

(Photo credit: Dimitri Rodriguez)