NYPD to take new approach to policing protests

The new approach lays out precise protocol for engaging with protesters, as well as better training for police officers and more specific guidelines for arrests.

Shniece Archer and Adolfo Carrion

Sep 6, 2023, 2:11 AM

Updated 262 days ago

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New Yorkers can expect a new approach from members of the NYPD when it comes to policing protests.  
New practices were put into place on Tuesday that bring a four-tier approach that allows the NYPD to better respond to spontaneous protests while protecting public safety and freedom of expression.  
However, some advocates are still having trouble trusting this new system.  
"The Jordan Neely protest saw the same level of police violence against the people,” said Black Lives Matter co-founder Hawk Newsome. “The same level of police violence against the people was occurring not even two or three months ago so yeah, I'm appreciative of the things that they're doing but I'm not sure that I can trust it." 
The new approach lays out precise protocol for engaging with protesters, as well as better training for police officers and more specific guidelines for arrests. 
Tier 1 is used for a peaceful protest. The NYPD will temporarily accommodate peaceful protests passing through the streets or sidewalks. 
Tier 2 is used when the NYPD believes that illegal activity might happen or that the protest is going to block critical infrastructure.  
Tier 3 takes effect once there is probable cause that an individual has committed a crime. The NYPD will deploy enough officers to address the individuals breaking the law.  
Tier 4 happens when the protest must end. It’s activated when either protesters are trying to enter or blocking an entry to sensitive locations or crimes are so widespread that de-escalation and/or targeted enforcement has not worked or cannot work. In this tier, the only viable option is to end the protest. 
The new approach will go into effect after the judge signs and accepts the agreement. For the next three years, the New York City Corporation Counsel will meet regularly to review the NYPD’s progress on this agreement.


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