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BLM protestors score big against cops

Once again, the city has agreed to a bad court settlement that will make New York harder to govern.

This one puts new cuffs on cops: The NYPD must stop “kettling” crowds of unruly protesters.

It was bad enough when City Hall agreed to pay $13 million to Black Lives Matter protesters — nearly 10 grand per rioter — who’d gotten themselves arrested amid the looting, arson and violence that followed the 2020 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The settlement of this case, stemming from the same 2020 protests, ends the crowd-control tactic where cops corral packs of unruly demonstrators before arresting or taking other action against individual members of the crowd.

Mayor Eric Adams said this will “ensure that we are both protecting public safety and respecting protesters’ First Amendment rights.”

Huh? These 2020 protests (and some the next year) were routinely breaking COVID curfew restrictions, and the demos regularly turned into full-on riots, accompanied by looting and arson.

The Occupy City Hall protest on Wednesday.
William Farrington

“Protesters” often assaulted officers, even tossing Molotov cocktails at police vehicles.

Night after night saw full-blown battles in the streets, as out-of-town anarchists and radicals flooded into the city thinking they might start a revolution and criminal gangs exploited the chaos.

Provocateurs handed out bats to Occupy City Hall thugs ahead of a “community and clergy march” against gun violence and in support of the NYPD in July 2020.

On MLK Jr. Day in January 2021, “peaceful protesters” injured 11 cops — including a captain struck in the head with a bottle.

The fact is that the option of kettling a crowd that gets out of control allows greater freedom for protest: Demonstrations went right up to the entrances to Madison Square Garden during the Republican convention here in 2004.

An NYPD van burns during a George Floyd protest in May of 2020.
An NYPD van burns during a George Floyd protest in May of 2020.
Christopher Sadowski

Yes, the NYPD several times kettled mobs to cool things down — but Boston’s answer for the Democratic convention that same year was to cordon off a quarter of the city from the whole public, creating a huge “frozen zone.”

Which approach better “respects protesters’ First Amendment rights”?

This settlement follows deals struck by then-Mayor Bill de Blasio that limit or outright prevent such tried-and-true crime-fighting tactics as “vertical patrols” in public-housing projects and stop-question-and-(maybe)-frisk of individuals who’ve triggered an officer’s suspicions.

A crowd forms in front of an NYPD van that was set ablaze during a George Floyd protest.
A crowd forms in front of an NYPD van that was set ablaze during a George Floyd protest.
Christopher Sadowski

And it’s not just the NYPD that gets hamstrung by such settlements: Another one created the ridiculous “right to shelter” that now leaves the city burning billions to house illegal migrants.

Elected lawmakers aren’t the only ones making it ever-harder for the city to function rationally with idiocy like the no-bail law: It’s also court agreements like this one, which ends one minor headache now but is sure to bring curses from a future mayor and the innocent civilians who suffer because cops have lost a key tool for preventing protests from turning into riots.

This story originally appeared on NYPost

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