Teenage BLM Rally Organizer Sent $2,500 Bill For Police Overtime, Mayor Rescinds

A New Jersey teenager organized a protest to support Black Lives Matter after they began popping up across the country. Afterward, the city sent her a $2,500 bill for police overtime.
In June, 18-year-old Emily Gil decided to organize a protest after seeing them across the country following the police-involved death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd. She also wanted the protest to address a lack of affordable housing.
“It’s an issue we care about. And we notice these issues in our own towns, so we can do something about it,” Gil told CBS New York.
She told the outlet she met with the police chief regarding logistics for the protest and properly notified local officials about it. The protest occurred on July 25 and lasted around 90 minutes. In contrast to protests in major cities across the country, Gil’s appears to have actually remained peaceful.
“I would say it went really well,” Gil told CBS. “We stood there with our signs and people were honking and showing support.”
A few days after the rally, however, Gil received a letter from Englewood Mayor Mario Kranjac with a $2,500 bill for police overtime during her rally.
“I was shocked when I read that I had to pay to exercise my First Amendment right,” Gil told CBS.
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The mayor said he is the first in decades to combat the housing issue and had no problem with the protest.
“And we made sure that we fulfilled and satisfied our obligation to make sure that they can exercise their freedom of speech and to peaceably assemble,” said Mayor Kranjac.
Kranjac said the borough has an ordinance in place that allows it to bill for any expenses incurred for police services at private events. The bill sent to Gil was standard protocol, he said.
“We always bill… the bicycle race or running race or any other event, where our police are used, including utility work, people pay for the overtime,” said the mayor.
Gil said she believed such a policy would keep young people from organizing similar protests if they couldn’t afford the bill.
“I feel like if that voice is taken away, it’s really a big loss for the community at large,” she said.
The mayor told the outlet late last week, when the story was reported, that the money would be due “sometime soon” and that if Gil couldn’t pay, the borough administrator would handle the issue.
Days later, after backlash over the bill sent to the teenager, Kranjac rescinded the bill.
“The bill was mistakenly issued based on advice I received from our borough administrator who I understand consulted the borough attorney,” Kranjac told NJ Advance Media. “I was told that all private events requiring police overtime should be paid for by the organizers. That advice was incorrect.”
“I always want to make certain that everyone’s Constitutional Rights are fully respected,” Kranjac continued. “We will have to adjust the borough’s ordinances accordingly to ensure this never happens again.”
Teenage BLM Rally Organizer Sent $2,500 Bill For Police Overtime, Mayor Rescinds Teenage BLM Rally Organizer Sent $2,500 Bill For Police Overtime, Mayor Rescinds Reviewed by Your Destination on September 02, 2020 Rating: 5

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