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Protester Injured During Arrests at Orlando Solidarity March, Police Say

By Noah Hurowitz | June 14, 2016 11:45am
 Jeremy Weissman was one of four arrested during a march on June 12, 2016.
Jeremy Weissman was one of four arrested during a march on June 12, 2016.
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DNAinfo/Noah Hurowitz

MIDTOWN — A protester suffered a leg injury while getting arrested along with three others during a march that split off from a solidarity vigil for victims of the Orlando nightclub massacre, a lawyer for the activists said.

The four protesters were arrested just before 10 p.m. on Sunday at the intersection of West 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue, including 19-year-old Dariel Ali, who was taken to a nearby hospital for evaluation following his arrest and then released into police custody, according to an NYPD spokesman.

Police did not provide details about Ali’s condition or how he got hurt, but a lawyer for several of his codefendants described his injury as “not insignificant.”

The march broke off from a vigil in Union Square just after 9 p.m. and headed north on Broadway and then Sixth Avenue, according to activists involved. When the group reached 42nd Street, police ordered them onto the sidewalk, they said.

Videos taken at the scene and later corroborated by eyewitnesses show police on horseback corralling marchers onto the sidewalk.

The NYPD spokesman did not respond to request for comment about the actions seen in the videos.

Ali and codefendants Atiq Zabinski and Peter Soeller were charged with disorderly conduct and obstruction of governmental administration, while a fourth, Jeremy Weissman, was charged with disorderly conduct, records show.

Weissman, 22, was released without bail just before 4 p.m. on Monday, while Zabinski and Soeller were released without bail at about 10 p.m., 24 hours after their arrests.

Ali was held on $500 bail in order to compel him to appear on June 14 in The Bronx to clear a warrant for a previous misdemeanor trespassing charge, according to court records and lawyer Moira Meltzer-Cohen.

Soeller, Ali and Zabinski are due back in court on July 20, and Weissman is due back on August 9.

Meltzer-Cohen, who is representing Weissman, Soeller and Zabinski, criticized the use of horses for crowd control.

“What happened last night demonstrated that whenever there’s a gathering of vulnerable people the NYPD’s go-to response is to further traumatize them,” she said on Monday.

Eating a hot dog on the steps of New York Criminal Court on Monday shortly after his release, Weissman said he marched on Sunday to mourn the victims of the shooting at Pulse nightclub, and to bring attention to what he calls the root cause of the tragedy.

"I was out there in opposition to a society that allows things like Orlando to happen," he said. "This wasn't an isolated incident."