According to ABC7, community activists were handing out PPE, hand sanitizer, COVID-19-focused flyers and voter information to voters Saturday at a polling site at the Miccio Center in Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood.
— Carlos Menchaca 萬齊家 (@NYCCouncil38) October 24, 2020
The department revealed on Twitter that its law enforcement officials confiscated the items “at the request of election officials” after officers asked the community activists to “comply with election rules.”
“After refusing to comply their property was removed. Upon further discussion, they agreed to relocate to an appropriate area, and their property was returned,” the NYPD said in a tweet.
The NYPD later revealed to the outlet that the community activists were confronted by officers because the group handing out the equipment was “blaring loud music within ten feet of the door and refused the request of New York Election Officials to move an appropriate distance.”
“Police were asked to assist and did,” the authorities added in their statement.
New York City Council Member Carlos Menchaca - who represents Red Hook and other parts of Brooklyn - community leaders and community activists held a news conference Sunday in Red Hook to discuss the incident, with activists involved requesting assurances from the NYPD that a similar incident won’t occur again, ABC7 reported.
"We need election protection and under no circumstances allow voter suppression or intimidation by police actions," Menchaca told ABC7.
"The incident, captured on camera, has brought to light the need for immediate action, clarity and new training during this tense election season. New Yorkers have the right to film enforcement interactions,” Menchaca added.