Video of NYC Pride 2021 Clashes in Washington Square Park Viewed Over 500K Times

A clip of skirmishes between police and attendees of the New York Pride event has gone viral amid reports of officers deploying pepper spray against the crowd.

Four people have been arrested for offenses such as assault and obstructing governmental administration after disorder broke out near Washington Square Park during Pride celebrations on Sunday night, the NYPD told Newsweek.

A 23-year-old female was arrested after allegedly throwing a bottle at police and biting an NYPD lieutenant; a 20-year old-female is accused of throwing a bottle at officers; a 29 year-old-male was arrested after allegedly slapping the hand of a NYPD police officer; and another man, 30, was arrested after attempting to pass through a police barricade.

Reporters at the scene posted images and videos onto social media detailing the unrest, with Christine Chung of the independent new site The City tweeting: "There's talk of mace happening right now at Washington Square Park. There is a sea of cops here."

The short clip, which has been viewed more than 500,000 times, shows officers trying to hold back the crowd near the park's famous arch, as others appear to try to help people off the ground. Water bottles can also be seen being thrown at the officers.

There’s talk of mace happening right now at Washington Square Park. There is a sea of cops here.

— Christine Chung (@chrisychung) June 27, 2021

"The police, in riot gear and on bicycles, are now blocking the entire road near the arch and now nobody is allowed to cross the road," Chung tweeted. "Things are still tense but the cops have stopped moving closer to the gathering in the park.

"The cops, now the community affairs officers in front, are backing off a little from the park. A bunch of cops on bicycles not far behind. But people are extremely pissed about the NYPD presence and have started to retake the road."

Meredith Cash, a sports reporter for Business Insider, added: "I am currently watching NYPD charge Washington Square Park with riot gear (helmets, pepper spray, batons)... potentially to break up pride celebrations? It certainly looks like they are confronting people celebrating pride from my vantage point."

Police did not confirm if officers used pepper spray on those celebrating Pride, but the New York branch of the ACLU has condemned officers for bringing "escalation and violence" to the LGBT event.

"Arrests, riot gear, and pepper spray have no place at a nonviolent and celebratory Pride march," the NYCACLU tweeted.

"The SRG should stand down and allow Pride-goers to continue their celebrations. Now."

All law enforcement officers were banned from taking part in this year's Pride event in New York.

In a statement, the Gay Officers Action League said they were "disheartened" by the decision.

"Heritage of Pride (NYC Pride) has long been a valued partner of our organization and its abrupt about-face in order to placate some of the activists in our community is shameful," the statement added.

new york pride arrests
People gather to celebrate in Washington Square Park during New York Pride on June 27, 2021 in New York City. Four people were arrested near and around Washington Square Park during Pride celebrations on Sunday evening, with a clip of unrest going viral on social media. Roy Rochlin/Getty Images