Videos posted to social media show the New York Police Department descending on ralliers and journalists at the “We Want Freedom March” on Thursday night.
The march, intended to honor Black queer lives, started at the Stonewall Inn, a historic site for the LGBTQ movement. Police intervened around Union Square by moving people with their bikes. The NYPD says it's investigating alleged violence against two police officers.
Multimedia reporter Scooter Caster recorded much of the interaction.
"The group was shoved and pushed around by bike police and riot police in several locations along their route," Caster wrote on YouTube. "Multiple people were arrested during the march and again at Union Square where a standoff took place along 14th Street as police pushed the group into the park."
Nineteen people were arrested, according to CBS. Reporters also got roped into NYPD's push into the crowd. New York radio station WINS Roger Sterns was reportedly shoved to the ground.
"1010wins reported was knocked down to the ground when police pushed on protesters in Union Square," Caster tweeted. "Crowd was first told to get off the roadway and then to get off the sidewalk as police pushed people further into the park."
Video shows Stern standing back up as the crowd surrounds him. The NYPD tweeted that it retaliated after an officer was shoved to the ground.
"Tonight, while performing their duties near Bond St & Broadway in Manhattan, an officer was pushed to the ground & had this chain pressed against his throat. The suspect was apprehended & will be charged with assault, criminal possession of a weapon & attempted strangulation," the official NYPD news account tweeted.
Caster said her team "did not personally witness either of the occurrences tweeted by the NYPD." People on Twitter want more proof than a photo.
Others who shared videos of the scene noted police officers' aggression.
"Last night, after our peaceful Stonewall march for Black queer lives, hundreds of NYPD SRG troopers stormed Union Square Park, trapping protesters and journalists inside a kettle. Many arrests were made throughout the long night," writer Jeremiah Moss tweeted.
The protest took place the same night that former Vice President Joe Biden took the lead in two states that would put him on track to win the presidential election. Some news outlets, including Decision Desk HQ, on Friday declared Biden the winner of the presidential election.