Demonstrations continued Saturday night in New York City and across the country, as protesters raised their hands and voices to decry abusive police tactics in light of the growing number of unarmed black men who have been killed by police officers.
Picketers swarmed New York City’s Grand Central Terminal and Times Square, four nights after a Staten Island grand jury decided not to indict white police officer Daniel Pantaleo for the chokehold death of Eric Garner, and not quite two weeks after a Missouri grand jury refused to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown.
The protesters were also out honoring 28-year-old Brooklyn dad Akai Gurley, whose somber funeral was held Saturday, after he was shot dead by a NYPD officer on Nov. 20 in a Brooklyn public housing project stairwell.
Earlier in the day, about 50 supporters gathered at the Louis H. Pink Houses in Brooklyn, where Gurley was shot to death. “The cops are supposed to be there to help us, but instead they’re killing us,” Rosetta Jordan, 65, told The Huffington Post.
Passionate protests also played out across the U.S.: In Davidson, N.C., more than 200 people interrupted a Christmas event by sprawling out on the ground in a street, an increasingly-common protest tactic known as a “die in.” A similar demonstration was held in Tampa.
“Shattuck and Alston in Berkeley. Large group that continues to grow. #mapit”
“About 120 people winding through downtown #Anchorage chanting “Hands up, don’t shoot.”
In Cleveland, angry demonstrators expressed fury about the death of 12-year-old Rice. And in Phoenix, protesters decried the shooting death of Rumain Brisbon, yet another unarmed black man who was killed, this time after a police officer mistook a pill bottle for a gun on Dec. 2.
Tensions have been running high throughout the country after it was revealed that Wilson would not be indicted for killing Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Protests inFerguson were at times violent, but most other cities have held almost entirely peaceful demonstrations — with cries of “Hands up, don’t shoot,” “I can’t breathe,” and “Black lives matter,” richocheting from coast to coast.