Target: New York City Police Department Commissioner William J. Bratton
Goal: Stop cops from indiscriminately pepper spraying protesters speaking out against Donald Trump’s bigoted statements.
A group of anti-bigotry protesters were reportedly attacked and randomly pepper sprayed by police officers as they were marching to Trump Tower to demonstrated against the racist, Islamophobic, and misogynistic statements made by presidential candidate Donald Trump. Witnesses report police corralling and trapping protesters in areas, refusing to let them continue on their march, then randomly spraying pepper spray into the crowd.
Pepper spray, though commonly considered to be non-lethal, can still be very dangerous. It can trigger intense reactions, including asthma attacks, that can end in death. At no time should police officers be using this weapon as a method of crowd control.
At the same time, it’s ridiculous that the New York police were treating this peaceful group of protesters as a dangerous riot that needed to be controlled and dispersed. Nothing violent or destructive had happened, and all of these individuals were within their right to demonstrate against such a dangerous and hateful man.
The police discrimination against people who refuse to put up with bigotry is alarming, to say the least. Police at pro-Trump rallies have failed to arrest Trump supporters who have attacked people, but throw out or block anyone who even looks like they might be protesters. Sign our petition to demand this police violence against peaceful protesters be put to an end.
Dear Commissioner Bratton,
Witnesses are reporting that New York Police Department officers were indiscriminately spraying pepper spray at a group of peaceful protesters that was heading for Trump Tower for a demonstration. It’s also been said that these officers were part of the department’s anti-terrorism task force. Why were anti-terrorist cops sent out to handle a non-violent group of Americans that were exercising their right to demonstration?
People are allowed to gather and protest–these are essential American rights that the police have no right to interfere in as long as nothing violent occurs. By hindering and attacking these peaceful protesters, your officers were violating their First Amendment rights.
Police officers will protect members of white supremacist groups from harm yet attack people protesting against racism and other forms of bigotry. This is an unacceptable double standard that has to end. We demand that you take action to punish the officers involved in the reported attacks and make sure this kind of treatment of non-violent demonstrators never happens again.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Federal Bureau of Investigation