Yesterday, we reported that 24 people were arrested after protesting at a Citibank near Washington Square Park. The above video shows the demonstrators locked inside the branch and police arriving on the scene. Some protesters say they were merely trying to close their accounts, while the police charged the 24 with criminal trespassing. Citibank has released a statement regarding the incident. Read it after the jump.
From their website:
Citibank Public Affairs issued the following statement regarding today’s incident: “A large amount of protesters entered our branch at 555 La Guardia Place around 2:00 PM today. They were very disruptive and refused to leave after being repeatedly asked, causing our staff to call 911. The Police asked the branch staff to close the branch until the protesters could be removed. Only one person asked to close an account and was accommodated.”
To be clear: no one was arrested for closing an account; we didn’t lock people in our branch – the police decided to close the branch; and we didn’t ask for anyone to be arrested – that is a police decision.
The difference between police deciding to “close the branch” and Citibank locking the doors seems negligible, and as Gothamist points out, Citibank places almost all the responsibility on the shoulders of the NYPD.