[video] Police Beat Up Protesters at NY’s New School

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via NY Times

Scores of police officers wearing helmets and carrying batons and pepper spray entered a New School building at 65 Fifth Avenue around 11 a.m. on Friday, arresting 19 protesters who had occupied it as part of a determined protest aimed at the university’s president, Bob Kerrey. “The Police Department was asked to arrest individuals trespassing on the property,” said Paul J. Browne, the department’s chief spokesman, who said the operation “was done in a very organized, orderly fashion.”

But students at the scene described a tumultuous situation in which protesters were pepper-sprayed before being placed in handcuffs and loaded by police officers into the back of a white van, around 11:30 a.m.

Mr. Browne said it was “untrue that pepper spray or mace was used in effectuating the arrests.”Witnesses said that the protesters had sought to leave the building by a side door, but were pushed back and pepper-sprayed. The witnesses said that several students pushed open a door that exited onto 14th Street, and that police officers stationed outside that door applied pepper spray onto the students in the corridor and slammed the door shut.

“The students tried to open the door,” said Kristina Monllos, a sophomore at Eugene Lang College, part of the New School, and a reporter covering the scene for the New School Free Press. “When the students pushed the door open, the police sprayed pepper spray inside and pushed the door closed.”

Mr. Browne, however, said that if some students believed they were unable to leave, it might have been because they had used a chain to lock themselves inside, which officers then had to cut through.

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