Police clash with crowd at New York park after curfew, 23 arrested

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NEW YORK (WPIX) — Nearly two dozen people were arrested during clashes with police in and around Washington Square Park Saturday night while the NYPD enforced a weekend curfew.

Video posted to Twitter showed a large police presence, with many officers in riot gear, as the 10 p.m. curfew went into effect.

Officers were seen using bicycles in a line to push people out of the park. At times, the crowd of people pushed back. 

In one interaction caught on video, a police officer shoved two people repeatedly as they exited the park. When they turned around, another officer shouted for police to place them in handcuffs, the video showed.

A total of 23 people were arrested, according to the NYPD. Three people were issued summonses and 20 were given desk appearance tickets, police said.

Eight members of the NYPD suffered minor injuries during the incident, according to police.

The Parks Department and NYPD implemented a curfew inside the park after residents in the area complained about noise, partying and drug use.

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Susan Lee, who’s running to represent the area in the City Council, said drug use has been a real issue in the neighborhood.

“There’s rampant drug dealing and drug use at the park and it’s really causing a public safety concern,” she told NewsNation affiliate WPIX.

Lee had called for more community policing and services for people suffering from addiction.

According to the nonprofit Washington Square Park Conservancy, the curfew was put in place only for Memorial Day weekend and this weekend.

A Parks Department spokesperson said last week they would adjust their “approach as needed.”

WPIX’s requests for comment from the Parks Department and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office were not immediately returned on Sunday.

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