An 18-year-old who organized a Black Lives Matter event in New Jersey was billed $2500 to cover expenses for police overtime. She was sent the bill because she reportedly did not meet with officials before her rally/protest/event and the neighborhood was then forced to find security at the last minute.
Her name is Emily Gil, from Englewood Cliffs, and the letter came from Mayor Mario M. Kranjac. He seeks payment of $2499.26 and says it is precisely for “the police overtime caused by your protest” according to AP News.
The letter to Gil for the $2500 cited the reason she was being billed. It says she did not meet with any officials before her protest, which then caused the city to provide security at the last second, which therefore caused some officers to work overtime and cause the city to pay them more. In theory, had Gil met with officials beforehand and planned the protest accordingly, the city could have allocated a security detail to the protest and placed scheduled officers in the vicinity, then allowed them to go off-duty once their shift was over, rather than paying other officers overtime. In other words, the town was unable to provide a security plan that was thought out, and rushed to get one in, costing more money.
But “Gil said she didn’t meet with them in person over coronavirus concerns, but made an offer to meet via Zoom, which wasn’t accepted, and then officials stopped responding to her. She said she had reached out to Kranjac after getting the bill, but has gotten no response.”
Kranjac made comments of his own, suggesting that Gil should not be linking affordable housing to her protest if it’s about Black Lives Matter.
He also stated that “as with any privately-sponsored event that takes place in the borough requiring police safety, an invoice was sent to the organizer for police overtime since it would be unfair to require our residents to financially support a private event.”
AP News reports that four Democrats on the town Council opposed the mayor’s choice to seek the $2500 and they would try to cancel the bill for Gil.
The mayor is a Republican.