On Friday evening, three people were arrested on disorderly conduct charges in East Meadow, New York at a peaceful protest for George Floyd.
Videos began circulating on social media showing the protest proceeding peacefully until officers suddenly began aggressively apprehending a man leading the charge who had accidentally bumped into one of them.
Following this, protests continued but tensions rose after the three people were arrested for seemingly no reason.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran and Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder made a joint statement on the arrests on Saturday morning. "For the demonstrators safety, police repeatedly made attempts to keep protesters off moving lanes of traffic," they said. "This safety precaution was met with strong opposition and resistance which resulted in the arrests of these subjects."
"Our police officers take an oath to protect and serve and they have done that admirably," they continued. "We have and continue to protect the public which includes protesters, during marches, on major roadways and during their interaction with counter protesters. We continue to support the rights of individuals who exercise their freedom of speech according to the First Amendment; however, these demonstrations must remain safe and orderly."
Demonstrations are entering their third week of activity across the country in protest against the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other Black people who were unjustly killed.