A latest highschool graduate who organized a Black Lives Matter rally in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey mentioned she was billed $2,500 by city officers for police time beyond regulation, stirring up anger from civil liberty advocates and prompting the city’s mayor to rescind the invoice.
Emily Gil, the 18-year-old who organized the occasion in July, was directed by Mayor Mario Kranjac to pay $2,499.26 “for the police time beyond regulation attributable to your protest,” in accordance with a letter reported by NJ Advance Media. Gil’s protest referred to as in town to extend entry to inexpensive housing.
The letter said that Gil refused to satisfy with officers earlier than her occasion, which left them scrambling to organize safety plans.
“Your lack of notification left the borough with little time to organize to your protest in order that the police division and division of public works might be sure that everybody could be protected,” the letter mentioned.
Nonetheless, Gil mentioned that she declined requests to satisfy with officers in particular person because of considerations concerning the coronavirus and that officers by no means accepted her supply to satisfy remotely on Zoom. Gil informed NJ Advance Media that solely 30 to 40 folks attended the rally and induced no disruption.
“Englewood Cliffs is making an attempt to intimidate and silence people who find themselves standing up for Black Lives Matter and the implementation of inexpensive housing,” Gil informed the information outlet. Kranjac mentioned that Gil was incorrect to hyperlink inexpensive housing to her protest.
“As with every privately-sponsored occasion that takes place within the borough requiring police security, an bill was despatched to the organizer for police time beyond regulation since it might be unfair to require our residents to financially help a personal occasion,” Kranjac mentioned.
4 Democratic members of the city’s Council issued a statement on Friday condemning the Republican mayor’s invoice and argued that he tried to “bully and silence a younger lady who merely dared to train her first modification rights.”
The mayor on Saturday in a letter to Gil mentioned he rescinded the invoice for police time beyond regulation and defined that the invoice was primarily based on the recommendation of the borough administrator. He additionally mentioned would proceed to work in town’s inexpensive housing choices.
“I used to be informed that every one non-public occasions requiring police time beyond regulation needs to be paid for by the organizers. It was by no means supposed as a high-quality, however relatively as a charge,” Kranjac wrote in a letter.
“I’ve researched the problem additional with my very own counsel and I’m hereby rescinding the invoice, topic to our Council’s ratification of my motion,” he continued. “I at all times wish to make sure that everybody’s Constitutional Rights are absolutely revered. We should modify the Borough’s ordinances accordingly.”