Cops arrest 68 as Occupy Wall Street protesters try to ‘retake’ Zuccotti Park

January 2, 2012

BY Barry Paddock & Helen Kennedy , NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Video of a cop shoving actress Ellen Barkin was burning up the internet Sunday after she got caught up in the chaos surrounding a New Year’s police roundup of Occupy Wall Street protesters.

“I have never been afraid of an NY policeman until last nite. What I saw was random & senseless arrests and unnecessarily threatening behavior,” she said on Twitter.

Barkin, 57, said she was walking home when she saw mass arrests at 13th Street and 5th Avenue.

“It was upsetting, and looked unnecessarily aggressive & random,” she tweeted.

Barkin said she tried to make her way to a young woman who had been put into a police van and was screaming for help.

“She was not a protester. Was not drunk. She was walking home,” Barkin said on Twitter.

At that point, video shot by her companion, 26-year-old actor Sam Levinson, shows a police officer herding her from the street to the sidewalk and then pushing her by the shoulders.

“Take your (expletive) hands off me,” she can be heard saying furiously.

Then she tweeted again: “Is it a crime 2 stand in the street in NY? WTF is going on here?”

Barkin is a prolific Twitterer who is profanely outspoken in her support of the Occupy movement.

The NYPD had no immediate comment Sunday night on her tirade.

Barkin’s tweets became more angry as the night went on: “I cannot believe what I am seeing. U protect nothing. U ARE the violence in my city.”

In all, 68 people were arrested when cops shut down an Occupy Wall Street march near Union Square.

The arrests came after protesters

in Zuccotti Park pulled down the metal police barricades sealing off the public park and “retook” it while the NYPD’s focus was uptown at Times Square.

They danced on a giant mound of the barricades, waved signs and projected a message in light — “Whose year? Our year!!” — until police regrouped and shut them down.

Most of the 68 arrests were for disorderly conduct, though some protesters were also hit with charges of trespassing and obstructing governmental administration.

In the tussle, Zachary Miller, 28, of Berkeley, Calif., allegedly attacked a cop with a pair of scissors. He was charged with assaulting an officer.

The officer was treated at Bellevue Hospital. Protesters said the police responded by pepper spraying them.

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