4:21 pm Sep. 5, 2011
City Councilman Jumaane Williams and a former aide of Al Sharpton who now works for the city were arrested by NYPD officers this afternoon when they tried re-entering the West Indian American Labor Day Parade in Brooklyn after having left the route to make an appearance at another event, according to a spokesman for the councilman.
The men were held for about 30 to 45 minutes then released without being charged, according Williams' spokesman Stefan Ringel.
Williams and Kirsten John Foy, who now works in the city public advocate's office, will speak about the matter at a press conference tomorrow morning. A spokesman for the NYPD said they were currently looking into matter.
Here's the story, according to Ringel:
Williams and Foy and several others city employees were blocked by a police officer from entering the parade route near the Brooklyn Library, on Eastern Parkway. The officer said the area was "restricted" and that no "civilians" were permitted there.
Williams and Foy then identified themselves and Williams showed his city-issued ID identifying him as a member of the City Council. The office still refused to let them pass. Williams called a police chief to explain the situation.
At that time, the entourage was surrounded by 15 to 25 police officers. At some point, there was a physical altercation, with Foy being tripped and ending up on the ground. (Ringel, who was present, insists neither Williams nor Foy initiated any physical contact with the officers.)
The men were taken away but ultimately released without being charged with anything.
Near the parade earlier in the day, there was a shooting which, according to the New York Post, puts the number of people shot in New York City from Saturday to today at 39.
Williams has been an outspoken critic of police misconduct, criticizing the agency for its stop-and-frisk policies. Foy, prior to joining the public advocate's staff, was a top aide to Al Sharpton at his National Action Network, which often adopts the causes of victims of police brutality in New York and elsewhere.
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