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Marchers in support of Black Lives Matter in Englewood Cliffs on Friday, September 4, 2020.

NorthJersey.com

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS — The Borough Council on Wednesday took the first step to amend an ordinance that allows for organizers to be billed for police overtime for events protected by the First Amendment.

The move came a week after the borough found itself at the center of a firestorm for sending a bill to an 18-year-old resident who organized a Black Lives Matter protest over the summer.

The amended ordinance, if approved in October, will provide exemptions to charitable, religious and First Amendment-protected events from the current billing rules.

A $2,499 bill sent to protest organizer Emily Gil, which has since been rescinded, caused turmoil throughout the council meeting Wednesday night, punctuated by a councilman calling the mayor a racist. It was also brought up during the hours of public comment.

Mayor Mario