Protesters flood streets, stage 'die-ins' in wake of Eric Garner decision

People lie on the ground at Grand Central Terminal after it was announced that the New York City police officer involved in the death of Eric Garner is not being indicted, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014, in New York.
After lying motionless on the ground of Grand Central Station in New York City during a die-in organized in protest of a Staten Island grand jury decision not to indict a New York police officer involved in the chokehold death of Eric Garner, demonstrators sprang to life, chanting "I can't breathe."
The three words were the last Garner, who was black and killed by a white police officer, muttered before he died in July. On Wednesday night the phrase echoed through the halls of the train station and on the streets of New York, Missouri, Oakland, and elsewhere. The phrase reverberated on social media, too, as #ICantBreathe trended on Twitter throughout the evening. Garner's final words were a rallying cry for protesters after his death, as well.
Protesters took to the streets throughout New York City and other areas in response to the grand jury decision announced Wednesday. A large crowd gathered outside Rockefeller Center chanted "What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!" during a Christmas tree lighting ceremony being broadcast by NBC.
The same slogan has been a common refrain at protests in Ferguson over the Aug. 9 shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was also black and killed by a white police officer who was not indicted by a grand jury. Civil rights leaders have responded to both incidents, calling for a larger discussion about race and police brutality throughout the nation.
As of 10 p.m. ET, about 30 protesters had been arrested, New York Police Commissioner William Bratton told CNN, adding that he expected more by the end of the evening. The police department's strategy throughout the evening was to keep demonstrators moving by threatening to arrest those stopping or lying down in the street.
"We have no reports of violence, no reports of vandalism," he said. "We're working to allow them to have their protest, but at the same time to the greatest degree possible, minimize inconvenience to the rest of the city.
Reporters on the ground witnessed several arrests on the West Side Highway in Manhattan, where protesters faced off with police officers attempting to block their way. After a grand jury decided not to indict Wilson last week, demonstrators flooded highways in major cities throughout the country.

Police Chokehold Death

People march in protest on the West Side Highway after it was announced that the New York City police officer involved in the death of Eric Garner was not indicted, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014, in New York.

Protesters also stopped traffic near the Lincoln Tunnel, which was reopened before 11:30 p.m. ET.
After midnight, marchers staged a sit-in at the Brooklyn Bridge and as a result, New York City's Office of Emergency Management warned of "extensive traffic delays."
Demonstrators also took to the ground near Rockefeller Center for yet another die-in. And in Times Square, a crowd of at least 200 people chanted, "No indictment is denial. We want a public trial" while holding signs that said, "Black lives matter" and "Fellow white people, wake up."
Meredith Reitman, a 40-year-old white woman from Queens, held a sign that said, "White silence = white consent." She said the decision not to indict shocked her, even though some might think she was being naive to expect an indictment. "We should hope for justice and be surprised every time it doesn't happen," Reitman said.
A torched unmarked cop car was spotted in Crown Heights in Brooklyn outside a police precinct by multiple reporters, but it's unclear if the vandalism was related to the protests. Last week, people in Ferguson lit up two cop cars after a grand jury there decided not to indict Wilson as a result of Brown's death.
While there were eyewitnesses to Brown's death — many of whom have shared differing accounts — Garner's was captured on video. Garner was stopped on July 17 by New York Police Department officers on suspicion of illegally selling loose, untaxed cigarettes. After the 43-year-old refused to be handcuffed, Officer Daniel Pantaleo put his arm around Garner's neck, seemingly placing him in a chokehold. Garner, an asthmatic, could be heard saying "I can't breathe" in the video shot by an onlooker. His official cause of death was cardiac arrest.


More than 100 protesters also staged a die-in at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia and marched through the city's center, but according to a group called Defense of Black Bodies, which organized the die-in, the event seemed to center around Brown's death, with demonstrators laying down for 4 minutes and 30 seconds, a parallel to the 4 hours and 30 minutes Brown's body lay on a Ferguson street after he was killed by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson.
The protesters in Philadelphia later crashed a tree lighting ceremony at City Hall, overpowering children singing Christmas songs, according toNBC.

Washington, D.C.

Protesters also gathered in the streets of Washington, D.C., shouting "This is what democracy looks like," yet another refrain used during Ferguson rallies.

Clayton, Missouri

Clergy led about 200 people on a march to the courthouse in the St. Louis suburb of Clayton where the grand jury that chose not to indict Wilson had met for months. The rally had been planned prior to Wednesday's announcement that Pantaleo would not be indicted, but Garner's name was invoked at the beginning of the march.
"Another no indictment!" shouted high school junior Janie McCowan, 17, as part of a call-and-response chant.
The crowd responded: "I can't breathe!"
Later, McCowan and four other young black women walked in a circle saying, "Am I next?" Then the protesters lay on the street in front of the courthouse, staging a die-in.
The protest was peaceful, and there were no arrests.


In Oakland, an Occupy group led the charge for demonstrators to gather at Oscar Grant Plaza in downtown Wednesday afternoon to protest the killings of both Brown and Garner. Oakland faced several violent protests, with trash being lit on fire and property damaged, in the wake of the Ferguson grand jury decision last week.
Demonstrators took over the wet streets in the rain peacefully, but loudly, with many drawing parallels between Brown and Garner's deaths.

San Francisco

And across the bay in San Francisco, demonstrators staged die-ins and marched, too, but in smaller numbers at the beginning of the evening.
As the night continued, hundreds gathered on Market Street, lying on the pavement and stopping traffic, including a line of buses. While some drivers honked along to protesters' chants, others were angry about the forced delay.
As police organized, however, the number of demonstrators in the street quickly dwindled and protesters began to disperse on the sidewalk.


Protesters took to the ground again in Atlanta, staging yet another die-in. They held signs that said "I Can't Breathe" in reference to Garner, but also asked for 4 minutes and 30 seconds of silence as a nod to the hours Brown spent lying dead in the street in Ferguson.

Staten Island

Meanwhile, back in New York, people gathered in Staten Island at the spot where Garner was placed in the chokehold.
Several speakers called on protesters to remain peaceful, including Letitia James, New York City's public advocate, who called for the grand jury records be made public Wednesday.
Garner's stepfather, Benjamin Carr, told reporters that he was hurt by the grand jury decision, but he didn't want those who gathered on Staten Island to support Garner to be arrested. He added that he believed federal officials, which announced an investigation into Garner's death after the grand jury decision was revealed, will clear up the situation.
"I'm sure they'll give us the right decision," he said.

UPDATED 9:15 p.m. ET: Additional details about nationwide protests included.
UPDATED 10 p.m. ET: Atlanta protest reports as well as new Manhattan protest details added
UPDATED 11 p.m. ET: Arrest information and additional protest details included.
UPDATED 11:45 p.m. ET: Lincoln Tunnel and San Francisco details added.
UPDATED December 4, 2014, 12:30 a.m. ET: Brooklyn Bridge protest reported.
Additional reporting by The Associated Press

No comments:


© 2012 Học Để ThiBlog tài liệu