Reporting by Phil O’Brien & Ruth Walker

Police have withdrawn from a Hell’s Kitchen street this afternoon after a standoff between members of Warriors in the Garden (a Black Lives Matter activist group) and NYPD.

The standoff started mid-morning, when police arrived outside the apartment door of Derrick Ingram, co-founder of Warriors in the Garden.

NYPD had entered the apartment building on W45th St – 9/10th Ave with multiple personnel, including two with riot gear. There appears to have been no warrant for the arrest, leading to an urgent appeal on social media by other members of Warriors in the Garden for a lawyer to come and help. There were further appeals for supporters to come to the street, or watch the live streams on Instagram.

Traffic was blocked on W45th St and a long line of NYPD vehicles on 9th Ave caused a build up of traffic. The police also deployed a helicopter for the operation.

The police withdrew around 1pm this afternoon, with no arrests, after a peaceful protest.

A leader thanked the protestors, saying: “As black people, we do not have safety – even in our own home.”

“He was locked in his apartment for five hours with no warrant. There were about 50 officers on the street, and helicopters,” a Black Lives Matters spokeswoman told us. “They stopped the arrest when the masses showed up. They won’t tell us what he’s being charged with. The mayor’s office is saying right now that there is an open warrant for him. His constitutional rights seem to have been violated.”

We have contacted NYPD for a comment.

UPDATE: This evening Derrick Ingram released the following statement:

Warriors in the Garden is a nonviolent collective of organizers that have been advocating for police accountability & systematic policy change for the last two months. Warriors in the Garden has stood in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement by protesting across communities where white supremacy lives through racial slurs spewed at people of color and in the execution of aggressive police tactics toward residents of color.

Over the last two weeks, the police have used the NYPD warrant squad to violate the constitutional rights of several high-profile New Yorkers known to be leading the movement for black lives and to be addressing the ballooning budget of NYPD in an effort to achieve accountability & transparency for all New Yorkers.

The officers that showed up outside the home of a 28-year-old unarmed black organizer never produced a warrant on the scene. Officers used threats and intimidation tactics on a young man with no criminal history, using police dogs and his front door, snipers pointing guns through his windows, drones, and helicopters overhead with more than 30 police cars and tactical units on scene. This was an attempt to silence our movement. This militarized police response endangers the safety of residents in Hell’s Kitchen and across NYC. We demand to know: where are the NYC Council & NYC Leadership? Where is my Councilman Speaker Corey Johnson?!? Where is our Mayor? Today we thank the Hundreds of NYers that showed up in support of democracy and accountability; this isn’t over. The NYPD and commissioner Shea are lawless & are constantly threatening vulnerable communities & our leaders.

Derrick Ingram

Warriors In the Garden