Peaceful Protest Turns Violent

Manhattan police made more than 50 arrests today at a riot that broke out outside the Cathedral of St. John the Divine during a free vaccination clinic run by the Department of Evolved Affairs. Eyewitness reports suggest that the riot was caused by protesters who had previously been demonstrating peacefully inside a designated area, but details have yet to be made publicly available pending an official investigation.

St. Luke's Hospital in Morningside Heights was flooded by a deluge of patients arriving from the scene and is currently treating 23 people for injuries received during the riot. An additional 12 have been released. Perhaps miraculously, only one fatality has been reported: Alessandra Castillo, 16, was struck in the head by a folding chair and then trampled to death by bystanders in the ensuing crush.

A source with the NYPD who asked not to be named has told CNN that those arrested and brought in for questioning claim cameras and other metallic objects were torn from their hands — including the chair that hit Castillo — and that they were not intentionally thrown as many media outlets are reporting. Additionaly, vaccines totaling several thousand dollars worth was looted from clinic tents during the riot. Police Commissioner Karen Lau urges anyone with information about who may be responsible for the theft to come forward. A $10,000 reward is being offered to any individual who provides local authorities with information that leads to an arrest and conviction.

More details as they become available.

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