A collaboration of 30 grassroots groups called "Decolonize This Place," held citywide protests for the third time in response to a 15-year-old who was assaulted by a police officer in October 2019 during a brawl at Jay Street-MetroTech station. The incident was captured on cellphone video and the teen's parent filed a $5 million notice of claim against the city.
The groups overall disdain are NYPD officers allegedly targeting minor crimes like fare beating and Gov. Cuomo’s plan to add 500 police officers to patrol the subway system. They also believe public transportation should be free.
"THE MOOD FOR J31 IS SIMPLE: F--K YOUR $2.75. NO COPS IN THE MTA. FREE TRANSIT, NO HARASSMENT PERIOD AND FULL ACCESSIBILITY," said one of the three masked and hooded persons in the video posted on the group's Twitter account.
"J31" is short for the date, the group specified.
Protests began around 1 p.m. on Friday in various parts of the city, according to photographs the group posted, with defaced city buses and subway walls as well as emergency doors zip tied open to allow commuters to enter stations for free.
MTA officials said commuters who travel through Grand Central Terminal "may experience increased crowding and street closures this afternoon. If possible, customers should plan extra travel time or consider taking a Friday early getaway train."