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Protesters Arrested After Chaining Themselves To An Escalator At Police Conference

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter
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Protesters were arrested after chaining themselves to an escalator in a Maryland hotel Sunday.

Officers arrested 12 protesters who had chained themselves to an escalator at a Hyatt Regency hotel, reports WBALTV. Police said that they received a call around 1:45 p.m. EST Sunday to come to the hotel lobby because protesters were blocking the escalator. They were protesting the Maryland Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) during its conference.

Protesters did not leave when hotel security advised them to; the Fire Department and police officers had to cut the chains on the protesters. They were taken into custody shortly afterwards.

According to the Baltimore Sun, protesters cheered for those who had been arrested as they were taken into police wagons. Fellow activists set up a fundraiser online to raise money for bail.

Demonstrators called the FOP a “good ol’ boys club.”

“The FOP is the No. 1 obstruction to police accountability and justice. They operate more as a good ol’ boys club instead of a union … We caused fop members who were coming in for the conference to cancel their reservations so we are shutting down the FOP,” Ralikh Hayes, an organizer of the protest, said.

The protest also referred to the report the Department of Justice (DOJ) released on the Baltimore Police Department. The report said the Baltimore police department performed unconstitutional stops, arrests, and used excessive force that led to different outcomes for black citizens. (RELATED: DOJ Report Charges Baltimore Cops With Racism)

Some demonstrators wore shirts reading “Justice 4 Korryn Gaines.” Gaines was shot by the police when they tried to serve her a warrant for her failure to appear in court. After an hours-long confrontation during which Gaines threatened police with her shotgun, police fatally shot her. (RELATED: Police Shoot Woman Who Allegedly Threatened Them With A Gun) 

They also demanded the release of the names of the officers who shot Gaines, as well as the officers who had been mentioned in the DOJ report on the Baltimore Police Department.

Hayes repeated the demands of the “Vision For Black Lives Platform,” the new agenda that calls for reparations for slavery.

“Our vision is a world where safety and security is not dependent on the enforcers of the state but rather where all people have access to quality food, shelter, health care and education and where racial, economic and gender equality flourish,” Hayes said.

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