Following a three-hour demonstration at Sesame Place late on Saturday afternoon in support of a New York lady whose cellphone footage of a park staffer dressed as a character seemingly rejecting two Black girls went viral, two New Jersey males were detained.
The demonstration was the first at the well-known theme park since the incident on July 16, according to Brooklyn resident Jodi Brown, in which she claims a park employee wearing a “Rosita” costume turned down her 6-year-old daughter and 4-year-old niece’s requests for hugs during a character parade while interacting with other white visitors.
Protesters were invited through social media posters on Friday to gather in the park at noon on Saturday. However, there were only two people representing the Delaware NAACP at the time. The journalists and the police outnumbered them.
Two dozen protesters arrived and set up shop along the North Buckstown Road crosswalk leading to Sesame Place’s main entrance, according to a news release from Middletown police.
The park had set up a staging area with cool water for the demonstrators close to the park entrance, but they refused to congregate there, according to the police.
The two unidentified New Jersey protesters then attempted to disrupt traffic by repeatedly stepping into moving traffic on North Buckstown Road, causing cars to swerve and stop to escape them. According to authorities, they also made an effort to block the crosswalk that park visitors used to enter the park.
According to police, the guys were repeatedly asked by police officers to quit obstructing the crossing and traffic. The guys said police they would not stop trying to block traffic and were shouting profanities in front of kids, according to the release.
The two males who were detained by Middletown police were identified only as being 50-year-olds from Newark and 46-year-olds from Camden.
According to police, they were charged with disorderly behaviour and obstruction of highways as summary charges and then released.
Police reported that following the arrests, the remaining protestors conducted a nonviolent demonstration for many hours.
Social media users livestreamed a nearly four-minute, profanity-filled video of demonstrators in the crosswalk outside the park’s entrance.
The video shows visitors crossing the street with their legs in the crosswalk and a dispute with Middletown police, but after a minute the camera is obscured. There are voices shouting “No justice, no peace” and making disparaging remarks about cops.
More than 880,000 people have watched the original, 9-second video that captured the alleged slight on July 16 since it was released on social media. This video sparked outrage in the community and calls for a park boycott.
Additionally, it led other Black parents to submit videos online in which they claim costumed characters at the park ignore their kids while socialising with kids of different races.
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