On Wednesday, a group of six tried to enter the American Museum of Natural History but were denied due to their vaccination statuses.
An NYPD representative tells us that the individuals remained in the lobby and refused to leave when asked by museum staff. They stayed after the museum closed at 5:30pm, and all six were arrested at about 6pm. They were each handed a summons for trespassing.
The individuals appear to be associated with the New York Freedom Rally, and according to the group’s Facebook page, they were released within a couple hours of their arrests.
One of the arrestees had brought her 9-year-old daughter Jayla with her. When her mom was arrested, Jayla was brought to a nearby precinct where, NYPD officials tell us, she was given refreshments.
Several individuals can be heard berating the police in a video of the incident circulating the web. “You’re traumatizing a little child,” said one man. “This is f*cking disgusting,” said another.
While some headlines indicate that the 9-year-old girl was ‘arrested,’ the person who shared what appears to be the initial video – a Twitter user who goes by Luke2Freedom – quickly clarified himself after posting it. “A small correction on my title phrasing. The child was not arrested. The mother was, and the child was tended to until the mother was released about two hours later…”
AP News has also called out several misleading headlines about the incident – including one which claims the individuals were arrested for not having vaccine passports.
“On January 19, a group of anti-vaccination protesters put Museum visitors and staff at risk by forcibly entering the building while failing to provide proof of vaccination as required by NYC regulations and refusing to wear masks,” reads a statement from the AMNH. “At closing time, they refused to leave and were arrested by the NYPD and escorted out of the Museum. Among the group was a child, who was not arrested.”