Supporters of police went toe-to-toe with local Black Lives Matter followers in tranquil Marine Park, Brooklyn on July 19, without violence or arrests.
Observers said there were more police officers in the park in southern Brooklyn than demonstrators, but the worst thing they had to deal with was the day’s intense heat.
Police took no chances after recent clashes among protesters in Bay Ridge and on the Brooklyn Bridge that resulted in physical assaults and violence, causing injuries to police officers, including Chief of Department Terence Monahan, who broke his finger at a protest last week.
On July 19, the crowds were much thinner than in the recent past. Pro-cop groups canceled a march from nearby Resurrection Church because of the heat and instead met up in Marine Park, at the same time as a BLM supporters — made up of local young men and woman — marched to show support for the movement.
The two sides shouted at each other at times, but never came to blows.
Cops closely followed a group of about 40 BLM supporters who had met a few days earlier to paint posters for the event.
A group of young Marine Park residents have been meeting each week under the name of Marine Park Political Youth, where they discuss activism and debate current events. That group also has been under fire by some conservatives in the area as being too radical.
Leading the BLM protest was Chula, under #chulafitness on Instagram, a southern Brooklyn black woman who has 21,000 plus followers on Instagram as a body building coach. Chula is normally not politically active but has recently taken more of an interest. She also recently organized a counter-protest in Rockaway that clashed with pro-cop supporters.
On her Instagram, a man who heckled her followers apparently fell off his bike from the heat. Chula said she and others ran to him to help him and he refused hydration.