A latest highschool graduate who organized a Black Lives Matter rally in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey stated she was billed $2,500 by town officers for police overtime, stirring up anger from civil liberty advocates and prompting the town’s mayor to rescind the bill.
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 overtime caused by your protest,” in accordance to a letter reported by NJ Advance Media. Gil’s protest referred to as on the town to enhance entry to inexpensive housing.
The letter acknowledged that Gil refused to meet with officers earlier than her occasion, which left them scrambling to put together safety plans.
“Your lack of notification left the borough with little time to prepare for your protest so that the police department and department of public works could ensure that everyone would be safe,” the letter stated.
However, Gil stated that she declined requests to meet with officers in individual due to issues in regards to the coronavirus and that officers by no means accepted her provide to meet remotely on Zoom. Gil advised NJ Advance Media that solely 30 to 40 folks attended the rally and triggered no disruption.
“Englewood Cliffs is trying to intimidate and silence people who are standing up for Black Lives Matter and the implementation of affordable housing,” Gil advised the information outlet. Kranjac stated that Gil was incorrect to hyperlink inexpensive housing to her protest.
“As with any privately-sponsored event that takes place in the borough requiring police safety, an invoice was sent to the organizer for police overtime since it would be unfair to require our residents to financially support a private event,” Kranjac stated.
Four Democratic members of the town’s Council issued a press release on Friday condemning the Republican mayor’s bill and argued that he tried to “bully and silence a young woman who simply dared to exercise her first amendment rights.”
The mayor on Saturday in a letter to Gil stated he rescinded the bill for police overtime and defined that the bill was based mostly on the recommendation of the borough administrator. He additionally stated would proceed to work on the town’s inexpensive housing choices.
“I was told that all private events requiring police overtime should be paid for by the organizers. It was never intended as a fine, but rather as a fee,” Kranjac wrote in a letter.
“I have researched the issue further with my own counsel and I am hereby rescinding the bill, subject to our Council’s ratification of my action,” he continued. “I always want to make certain that everyone’s Constitutional Rights are fully respected. We will have to adjust the Borough’s ordinances accordingly.”