Hundreds of summonses handed out to protesters for violating a curfew during a demonstration against the police killing of George Floyd should be dismissed, the Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark announced Tuesday.
Although the Bronx DA doesn’t prosecute criminal court summonses, she plans to file a motion later this week asking the court to drop disorderly conduct and curfew violation cases against more than 300 demonstrators issued by the NYPD during a peaceful June 4 march that went sideways.
“I believe in and encourage our Bronx residents to raise their voices to protest social and racial injustice in a peaceful way,” Clark said in a statement announcing the move. “I said back in June that I would not prosecute protestors simply for violating the curfew.”
Typically, summonses are heard by a judicial hearing officer in the summons part of criminal court, and there’s no prosecutor.
After a week of protests against police brutality sparked by the killing of Floyd in Minneapolis, the NYPD began enforcing an 8 p.m. curfew throughout the city on June 4.
Cops in riot gear and clutching batons descended on the Bronx demonstration organized by the activist group Decolonize This Place, blocking the march near East 136th Street and Brook Avenue and rounding up hundreds of protesters.
NYPD brass came under fire for the aggressive crackdown and making misleading statements about widespread chaos and mayhem to justify it.
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea defended the arrests saying the group was “about tearing down society” and those involved were caught “bringing a gun and gasoline and weapons to the scene.” These assertions didn’t bear out, a Post investigation revealed.
A gang member was arrested with a gun a half-mile away from the march’s stepping off point and nearly three hours before the demonstration was broken up — but had no connection to the protests.
A trio was also busted two blocks from the rally with an assortment of tools and weapons — including a sledgehammer, a firework, a tire iron, knife and lighter fluid.
One of the suspects allegedly admitted he was going to “smash a window with the hammer or hit a police officer with it on the helmet,” according to an affidavit. The three were charged with misdemeanors and are being prosecuted by the Bronx DA’s Office.
The predominantly peaceful protesters arrested on low-level violations for breaking curfew are due in court Oct. 2. Clark added that it wasn’t constructive for hundreds of people to gather in a confined space in the midst of the COVID-19 health crisis.
“These unprecedented times require prosecutors to be flexible as well as compassionate,” she said.
The DA’s office will prosecutor defendants charged with burglary, looting and assault primarily stemming from a June 1 demonstration in the Fordham section of the Bronx, Clark said.
The NYPD didn’t immediately return a request for comment.