Atlantic County News

Atlantic City Mayor Calls July 4th Protest “Selfish” and “Clownish”; Arrested Organizer, Protesters

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ –   Black Lives Matter protesters in Atlantic City blocked the Atlantic City Causeway on July 4th in an attempt to block traffic into the city, but this time, police broke up the rally and arrested the organizer.  Earlier in the week Mayor Marty Small, also an African-American asked protest organizer Steve Young to postpone his march.   Atlantic City, like many other tourist destinations at the Jersey Shore has been hit hard financially by the COVID-19 virus outbreak.  This was the first weekend casinos were open since the March forced closures by Governor Phil Murphy.

Small called Young and the protest “selfish and clownish”.

Police repeatedly asked the crowd of about 75 to disperse and warned them that blocking the highway was against the law.

“Seven men were arrested after being given verbal warnings to not purposely block roadways,” the department said.  “The group, which was a part of a protest, began in the 2700 block of Atlantic Avenue in front of the Clayton G. Graham Public Safety Building. The group walked to the Peter Egnor Bridge on Albany Avenue where they stopped and blocked the roadway. In addition, this prohibited the bridge from conducting normal activity. The group was provided warnings that the obstruction of a roadway was in violation of the law and they were subject to arrest. After the second warning, the group began to depart. During the protest, police officers walked with those in attendance and provided assistance with traffic.”

The group walked to the Atlantic City Expressway where they entered the eastbound lanes.

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Traffic was diverted at exit 2 on to Route 40. The group stopped and began to block the roadway again. Officers moved in and arrested seven men. The remaining members of the group began to disperse and clear the roadway.

The Atlantic City Police Department was assisted by the United States Department of Justice Community Relations Service, New Jersey State Police, Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office, New Jersey Transit Police, and the Atlantic County Emergency Response Team.

“The Atlantic City Police Department and our law enforcement partners have been preparing for this protest due to threats made by organizers,” said Chief of Police Henry M. White Jr. “While we respect and support those that exercise their First Amendment rights, we will not allow a major roadway to be blocked cutting off access for our community members, emergency personnel, or visitors to the City of Atlantic City. We are grateful that the Atlantic City community did not participate in this misguided attempt to shut down the city.”

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ARRESTED: Levar Davis, a 21-year-old man from Atlantic City.

CHARGES: Obstructing a highway and refusal to obey a reasonable official request.

ARRESTED: Alex Kettles, a 52-year-old man from Burlington, NJ.

CHARGES: Obstructing a highway and refusal to obey a reasonable official request.

ARRESTED: Nolan Mitchell, a 45-year-old man from Atlantic City.

CHARGES: Obstructing a highway and refusal to obey a reasonable official request.

ARRESTED: Troy Ogelsby Sr., a 57-year-old man from Cherry Hill, NJ.

CHARGES: Obstructing a highway, refusal to obey a reasonable official request, and resisting arrest.

ARRESTED: Michael Scott Jr., a 45-year-old man from Atlantic City.

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CHARGES: Obstructing a highway and refusal to obey a reasonable official request.

ARRESTED: Taiwa Ukawabutu, a 55-year-old man from Pleasantville, NJ.

CHARGES: Obstructing a highway, refusal to obey a reasonable official request, and resisting arrest.

ARRESTED: Steven Young, a 60-year-old man from Atlantic City.

CHARGES: Obstructing a highway, refusal to obey a reasonable official request, and resisting arrest.

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