On July 4, 2013, I took my 14-year-old son to the Coney Island amusement park in Brooklyn, New York. We were present as police closed off a section of the park that was popular with lower income, mostly darker skinned New Yorkers, many from projects around the city. The cops forced all the businesses to close along that stretch and used a line of mounted police to drive thousands of people off the street. We saw police beat a young woman who protested. They beat her down to the concrete with their fists and then kicked her while she was down.
There were no acts of violence or vandalism or any other kind of civil disobedience that precipitated the police action. People were behaving peacefully and generally appeared to be having a good time.
The following morning I returned to the scene and asked one of the business owners why the police had cleared the street.
“Too many black people in one place,” he said.