Englewood Cliffs mayor rescinds $2,500 bill sent to teen organizer of Black Lives Matter rally

The mayor of Englewood Cliffs has rescinded a bill sent to a teenager who organized a Black Lives Matter rally in July.

Mayor Mario Kranjac had originally said Emily Gil, 18, needed to pay $2,500 for police overtime needed during the demonstration.

The request caused an uproar from the district's state legislators.

Gil had applied for a permit for the protest and was told she needed to do so in person. The teenager asked for a teleconference meeting due to coronavirus concerns, but her request was rejected.

In a statement, the Bergen County Freeholders said in part: "Charging people for police overtime as a prerequisite for holding a public gathering creates a chill effect on free speech and sends the message that only those with an ability to pay will be given the ability to speak. It sets a dangerous precedent when municipalities undercut free speech by assessing it such a high price tag."