BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — A man protesting the recent sale of Bed-Stuy’s iconic Slave Theater is in police custody Friday after standing outside the building’s second-floor ledge and marquee, according to officials and witnesses.
Police received a call for an emotionally disturbed person at 1215 Fulton St. around 3:10 p.m., according to an NYPD spokesman.
The man, who police described as in his 70s or 80s, perched himself in the second-floor window of the location, officials said.
Fellow protestors at the site — who have been outside the theater with signs for the last month — say the man was Clarence Hardy, who has been involved in a long-standing real estate battle over ownership of the building.
The Slave Theater was sold for more than $18 million in late November. Applications for a full demolition of the site and its surrounding property, 16 Halsey St., were filed on Wednesday, according to city records.
Friday’s incident shut down the corner of Fulton Street and Bedford Avenue, witnesses said, as protesters alleged the current building owners obtained the Slave Theater under a fraudulent deed.
“We’re here every day to fight for justice,” said Christie Williams, member of The Children of Slaves and Patriots Committee, the group that has spearheaded a campaign to “reclaim” the theater.
The Slave Theater once served as a hub for civil rights activism as well as arts and culture. The property has been vacant since 1998.
“Fulton Halsey has a fraudulent deed on the Slave Theater and they’ve scheduled demolition of our historic landmark," Williams added.
"This is our history. They don’t care about our stuff, they don’t care about our history.”
A representative for Fulton Halsey Holdings LLC, which picked up the property in November’s sale, was not immediately available for comment.
After standing out on the ledge and marquee, the man was taken into police custody without incident, according to an NYPD spokesman. It was unclear how long he had been outside in protest.
The man was also transported to a local hospital with minor injuries, an FDNY spokesman said.