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De Blasio: Black Lives Matter Protests Exempt from Large-Event Ban

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Black Lives Matter

New York City on Thursday shut down the stretch of Fifth Avenue where Trump Tower stands to begin painting a Black Lives Matter mural.

Black Lives Matter is painted on Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower, Thursday, July 9, 2020, in NY.

The Attorney General's Office said it received 1,300 complaints concerning police conduct during the protest, many of them alleging NYPD officers used excessive force, including the indiscriminate use of batons and pepper spray and the brandishing of firearms at protesters as well as pushing vehicles or bikes into demonstrators. The DOT said the block will remain closed to automobile traffic until Sunday, however the bus lane will be operational sooner.

The New York Post captured a number of hecklers with a lot to say about the mural - particularly concerning de Blasio.

Watch a live stream of the progress below. Trump blasted the plan for the mural last week in a series of tweets in which he said it would be "denigrating" to the luxury avenue and antagonize the NYPD.

Large outdoor gatherings have been officially banned in NY since the spring.

Many have viewed de Blasio's backing of the mural as nothing more than a political ploy to upset Trump, who has referred to the "Black Lives Matter" mural as a "symbol of hate". "It's a lie. No one wants Black Lives Matter here". "You're talking about health, we would always say, 'Hey folks stay home if you can.' But we understand this moment in history, people are talking about the need for historic change". "That is acting like an acknowledgement of the value of Black people is somehow belittling, when, in fact, what we're trying to do is lift up people who have built the city and built America and haven't been given their respect".

David Nelson and Nicole Anderson were charged with a hate crime on Tuesday after they were videotaped covering a Black Lives Matter street mural with Black paint on July 4, according to CNN.

TIME asked several Black youth, who will be voting in their first national election this fall, their views on the Black Lives Matter movement, the state of American politics, and this year's presidential election.

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