Residents arrested in New York City for low level offenses while protesting the death of George Floyd will not be prosecuted, the Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said in a statement on Friday. Protesters arrested on charges of unlawful assembly and disorderly conduct with not be prosecuted “in the interests of justice.” Vance’s office previously said these arrested individuals could have their cases dismissed within six months. The new policy eliminates prosecution all together. Vance said his office would evaluate and potentially decline to prosecute other charges related to the wave of protests.
“The prosecution of protesters charged with these low-level offenses undermines critical bonds between law enforcement and the communities we serve,” Vance said. “Days after the killing of George Floyd, our nation and our city are at a crossroads in our continuing endeavor to confront racism and systemic injustice wherever it exists. Our office has a moral imperative to enact public policies which assure all New Yorkers that in our justice system and our society, black lives matter and police violence is a crime.”