Pro-Palestine protestor, arrest, Columbia University, Eric Adams

NYC Mayor Eric Adams Defends NYPD’s Arrests Of Pro-Palestinian Protestors At Columbia University

New York City Mayor Eric Adams is standing behind the NYPD for its actions that resulted in the forceful arrests of pro-Palestinian protestors at Columbia University and City College of New York. 

New York City Mayor Eric Adams is standing behind the New York Police Department for its actions that resulted in forceful arrests of pro-Palestinian protestors at both Columbia University and City College of New York. 

Covered in riot gear, groups of police officers took over Columbia’s campus around 9 p.m. on April 30 after demonstrators charged through Hamilton Hall and barricaded themselves inside. Officers moved through the building, arresting protestors, going room to room. 

During a May 1 press conference, Adams, a former NYPD officer, praised the NYPD.

“They are attempting to disrupt our city, and we are not going to permit it to happen,” said Adams, referring to the protestors. “And we’re proud to say they have been removed from the campus. The NYPD’s precision policing ensured that the operation was organized, calm and that there were no injuries or violent clashes.”

After Hamilton Hall, officers searched the encampment sites, which had been set up for two weeks, to arrest others. Close to 300 protestors were taken into custody at Columbia and City College. 

Not all detainees were students, according to officials, who claimed many were outsiders who formulated the protest and trained the students involved. Adams touched on how that information played a part in how officers facilitated the arrests.

“We saw a shift in tactics that were being used, and when you start using the intelligence that Intel was able to supply, we knew it was time to communicate directly with the school and say you have more than a peaceful protest on your hands,” he said.

Police body cam footage posted on Twitter shows how officers moved to get inside Hamilton Hall in preparation for the arrests, moving outside furniture. Once inside, cameras caught glimpses of some of the arrests.

Then, a video obtained by the New York Post shows the destruction created post-arrests as furniture was ransacked. 

Police is still working to determine how many protestors were students, as protests have been under surveillance for the past several days.

According to Politico, Kaz Daughtry, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner of operations, introduced potential charges for future demonstrators if police is called back onto campus. Those in barricaded buildings face charges of  third-degree burglary, trespassing, and criminal mischief. People in tent encampments would be charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct.