The Washington Square Arch was reportedly vandalized with anti-police sentiments and “Black Lives Matter” graffiti after hundreds clashed with police in New York City over the weekend.
“Washington Square Park was left in disarray Monday morning, following a raucous weekend and clashes with police and revelers out late to protest the new park’s 10 p.m. curfew,” the Daily Mail reported.
Crowds gathered Sunday for a night of partying and to protest the previous night’s events. Saturday evening, officers wearing riot gear faced off with protesters and moved them out of the park, the outlet said.
Twenty-three people were arrested, the Associated Press (AP) reported.
On Monday, the park was reportedly seen covered with litter and the monuments vandalized, the Mail article read.
“The famous, 125-year old Washington Square Arch was covered in messages like ‘Police violence must end now,’ and ‘Black Trans Lives Matter.’ Others scribbled non-distinguishable messages on the marble monument,” the outlet continued, adding that crews got to work cleaning up the area Monday morning.
Journalist Andy Ngô tweeted footage of police working to disperse the crowd:
Mass clashes broke out between police and people at an unlawful assembly at Washington Square Park in NYC. pic.twitter.com/sIusBP3Aap
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) June 6, 2021
According to Spectrum News NY 1, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and Parks Department set up the temporary weekend curfew following complaints regarding large, rowdy crowds, drug use, and loud music.
However, park-goers seemed divided on the issue with some saying the area has become dangerous.
“The park has turned into a nightmare for those of us with kids,” resident Maria Rose said. “There’s constant drugs, constant nudity. There’s sexual acts here all the time. The trash in the mornings has become really obscene and it’s really not a place for kids anymore, let alone adults.”
A spokesperson with the Parks Department said the park will close at 10:00 p.m. on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday until further notice.
“Enforced closures are focused on addressing large after-hours gatherings, amplified sound, excessive trashing of the park and other conditions on weekends,” spokesperson Crystal Howard said, according to the AP.