Protesters blocking traffic in midtown were reportedly arrested by police on Feb. 16, according to local sources. New York police were required to remove protesters who were there to protest U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. None of these individuals have been identified publicly at this time, so it is unknown whether any of them have retained criminal defense counsel.
Limited information about the nature of the protest was available as of this report, but police confirmed that approximately 30 people were arrested during the protest. Police described the event, saying protesters locked arms to block traffic at the intersection of Seventh Avenue and 42nd Street, with some sitting in the crosswalk. This caused significant backlogs of traffic in the area, prompting police action.
Officers on site confirmed the group responsible for the protest, which took aim at ICE policies pertaining to undocumented immigrants, was the same group that shut down the area surrounding Trump Tower in September 2019. Dozens were reportedly arrested at that protest as well. However, it has not been confirmed whether any of them took part in the action on Feb. 16.
Protests are a legitimate and often legal part of American life, depending on how they are carried out. In this case, the criminal defense lawyers who will represent each of the accused individuals may choose several different arguments to defend their clients from the state of New York’s charges of misconduct. They will work independently to create a detailed and compelling defense for each of the individuals arrested at the protest, with an eye toward reducing or dismissing the charges.