Potential return of Black Liberation Movement shocks experts

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A Washington Square Park agitator’s claim this week to be a member of the Black Liberation Movement shocked law enforcement experts already troubled by escalating violence in the green space and anti-cop sentiment across the city.

“Uh-oh, the Black Liberation Movement is not what you want to hear. This is bad,” Manny Gomez, a former NYPD officer and FBI agent, told The Post. “These are anarchists and they’re getting more and more brazen.”

The revelation comes as more violence erupted Friday night in the famed Greenwich Village park. A woman was left bloody after she was trampled by a terrified crowd fleeing a man who was waving a knife and a taser. The man was arrested.

The Black Liberation Movement, or Black Liberation Army, was a violent branch of the Black Panther Party in the 1970s blamed for the execution of more than a dozen cops around the country, including four New York City officers in 1971 and 1972.

The Black Liberation Movement “is dedicated toward fighting for the liberation of all people by centering on the most underprivileged of people, which are black people … and uplifting them and making sure we get equity,” Na-Lekan Masego of Brooklyn told The Post Wednesday night as he joined scores of protesters angrily denouncing the NYPD outside a community meeting at Our Lady of Pompeii Church in Greenwich Village.

Na-Lekan Masego from Brooklyn
Na-Lekan Masego has a history of assaulting police officers.
Instagram

The meeting was organized by the NYPD’s 6th Precinct to address the ongoing violence and chaos in Washington Square Park. Hundreds of people stood in a line nearly three blocks long to attend. Most were shut out because of space restrictions.

An impromptu and volatile protest quickly formed at the corner of Bleecker and Carmine streets among those who couldn’t get into the meeting. Bleecker Street was closed to traffic as protesters angrily taunted the dozens of cops watching the doors and patrolling the intersection, calling out some officers by name.

Other protesters, including Masego, spoke to the crowd using a microphone and speaker.

Washington Square Park meeting
The outside protest started after the meeting stopped letting people in due to space restrictions.
William Miller

Masego, who said his given name is Nasheem Dortch, has a history with the cops. His rap sheet lists five arrests, including two for assaulting police officers, according to a law enforcement source.

He said he was attacked by cops with a baton in Washington Square Park as officers attempted to enforce a short-lived 10 p.m. curfew the night of June 5.

“There was a lot of brutalization (by cops) going on” that night, said Masego. More than 20 people were arrested during the clash, while five officers were injured. A source says Masego caused one of those police injuries when he resisted arrest.

Na-Lekan-Masego
Na-Lekan-Masego, who took part in the protest, told The Post the Black Liberation Movement “is dedicated toward fighting for the liberation of all people by centering on the most underprivileged of people.”

As recently as this year, Black Liberation Army ideology was being taught in New York City public schools, with assistance from former BLA member Joanne Chesimard, aka Assata Shakur, who was convicted in the 1973 execution-style killing of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster.

Ed Mullins, president of the NYPD’s Sergeants Benevolent Association, said he believes there is no widespread return of the Black Liberation Movement at this time. But he fears its mere mention is another ominous sign for New York City residents and for police officers working the street.

“What the Black Liberation Movement means for the city is that we’re going back to the bad old days of police assassinations, intimidation and violence,” he said. “If this happens, it’s going to be very divisive as far as race goes and cause a lot of problems for the city.”

People line up to attend a meeting to discuss crime at Washington Square Park at Our Lady of Pompeii Church in Greenwich Village.
People line up to attend a meeting to discuss crime in Washington Square Park at Our Lady of Pompeii Church in Greenwich Village.
William Miller

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