Police have arrested multiple people after a large group of Black Lives Matter protestors began to demonstrate outside of the Met Gala.
On Monday, as the high fashion event took place on the steps of and inside New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, a group of protestors clashed with police in the street in front of the iconic building.
In footage of the encounter shared to Twitter, officers can be heard yelling at members of the crowd to “back up,” while some protestors can be seen being detained.
According to the DailyMail, which viewed a flyer from the protest, the demonstrators, who were chanting: “Black Lives Matter,” were part of a protest organised by an “autonomous group of NYC abolitionists who believe that policing does not protect and serve communities”.
“The NYPD has a total financial allocation of $11bn per year. This money goes towards racist policing that destroys Black and brown communities while people who are struggling do not get the resources they need. CARE, not COPS, is the answer,” the flyer read.
Prior to the arrests, the protestors seemed to be peacefully demonstrating in the street, with additional video footage showing the large crowd chanting: “If we don’t get no justice, then they don’t get no peace,” and people hanging on the traffic light posts.
However, around 6pm ET, police began arresting individuals who had ignored warnings to clear the street, according to The New York Times, which noted that a police spokesperson said that there had been a “handful” of arrests, mostly for minor offences.
The protest to “defund the police” took place as New York Mayor Bill de Blasio attended the exclusive high fashion event among some of the world’s most influential and famous individuals.
According to the mayor’s spokesperson, Bill Neidhardt, who spoke to Politico, Mr de Blasio decided to attend the gala in a suit by Brooklyn designer Dreu Beckemberg because he “wanted to highlight a local designer who had been able to make it through the pandemic”.
The mayor was not the only politician in attendance during tonight’s gala, as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made a statement of her own when she arrived in a white gown emblazoned with “tax the rich”.