NEW YORK -- Thousands of protesters stormed New York City streets Monday night, shutting down at least three bridges and snarling traffic in response to a grand jury's decision not to indict Darren Wilson, the police officer who fatally shot unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in August.
Hordes of New Yorkers marched from Union Square to Times Square, up FDR Drive and across the Triboro, Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges, shouting chants of "You say get back, we say fight back!" and "Whose streets? Our streets!" By 1:30 Tuesday morning, authorities had shut down all three bridges:
— Conor Skelding (@conorskelding) November 25, 2014
— Robert Pluma (@RobotPluma) November 25, 2014
— StopMotionsolo (@StopMotionsolo) November 25, 2014
In Times Square, a protester was arrested after splattering NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton with fake blood. There were a number of other arrests, and other officers suffered minor injuries, reports said.
Manhattan: Large crowd protesting in Times square NYPD PC Bill Bratton Splattered with Fake blood, Perp arrested. pic.twitter.com/EQuAoqByPd
— NY Scanner (@NYScanner) November 25, 2014
The decision not to indict Wilson resonated with many New Yorkers who were also angry about the recent police killing of Akai Gurley, an unarmed 28-year-old who was shot to death last Friday by a rookie NYPD officer in the stairwell of a Brooklyn public housing project. On Tuesday, a number of protesters carried signs bearing Gurley's photograph alongside calls to "end police terrorism from NYC to Ferguson."
Other demonstrators invoked the image of Eric Garner, the Staten Island father who was also unarmed when he died in a police chokehold last July after being arrested for illegally selling cigarettes.
Protesters in Union Square thought the Ferguson decision represented part of a larger problem and said they had no plans to stop demonstrating anytime soon. "Innocent people are routinely shot, and these people are young, black and male," Michael Chou, 24, told The Huffington Post. "I will protest as long as it's needed to make a point about that."
Anta Toure, 19, agreed. "If the cops protected the people, like they're supposed to, then Michael Brown would still be alive," she said. "I won't stop protesting until I see some sort of change. I'll protest at my university, at my job, wherever I see some space."
A few hours before the grand jury decision Monday night, another group of protesters gathered outside NYU Law School to call for Bratton's resignation. They said the commissioner's "broken windows" policing -- the strategy of aggressively targeting lesser crimes as a means of deterring more serious crimes -- unfairly targets minorities and leads to the deaths of unarmed black men like Gurley and Garner.
"The lives of people of color, young black men of color, young women of color, poor people -- they are not respected and valued by the NYPD," said Josmar Truillo, of New Yorkers Against Bratton. He pointed to the police-involved deaths in 1994 of Nicholas Heyward Jr. and Anthony Baez as proof that nothing has changed over the last 20 years. Heyward, an unarmed black teenager, was killed in a public housing project stairwell, just like Gurley. Baez died after being put into a chokehold, just like Garner.
"Connecting the dots between Brooklyn, Staten island and Ferguson is exactly what the mayor of this city does not want us to do and that's something we must make sure happens," Trujillo said, noting that Mayor Bill de Blasio only last week said that Gurley's death appeared to be an "accident," and shouldn't be compared to other instances of alleged police brutality.
During a press conference Monday evening, the Rev. Al Sharpton discussed Gurley's and Garner's killings as they related to the Ferguson grand jury's failure to indict Wilson. “Let it be clear. We are dealing with the same attitudes in Ferguson right here in the city," Sharpton said from his office in New York, where he was joined by Garner's family. “It was expected, but still an absolute blow to those of us that wanted to see a fair and open trial.”More On Ferguson From HuffPost:
Darren Wilson Not Indicted | Photos Of Darren Wilson's Injuries Released | Shooting Witness Admitted Racism In Journal | Darren Wilson's Statement Doesn't Mention Michael Brown | Reactions To Ferguson Decision | Protesters' Open Letter | Prosecutor Gives Bizarre Press Conference | Obama Address Ferguson Decision | Notable Black Figures React | Politicians React | Jury Witness: 'By The Time I Saw His Hands In The Air, He Got Shot' | Al Sharpton Calls Decision 'Expected, But Still An Absolute Blow' | Ferguson Erupts In Protest | Thousands Protest Nationwide |
BEFORE YOU GO
11/30/2014 3:28 PM EST
Wilson Resigned Over Safety Concerns, Lawyer Says
he white police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, this summer, resigned from the force without any severance deal, the mayor of the St. Louis suburb said on Sunday.
The officer, Darren Wilson, announced his resignation late Saturday, saying he feared for his own safety and that of his fellow police officers after a grand jury decided not to indict him in the fatal Aug. 9 shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
11/30/2014 7:27 AM EST
10 People Arrested During Portland's Ferguson Protest
PORTLAND, Ore (AP) — Authorities say 10 people have been arrested in Portland during a protest related to the Ferguson, Missouri, police shooting.
The city police bureau says the arrests came Saturday night "after a large group of protesters laid down in the street and refused lawful orders to clear the roadway."
Earlier, the gathering over the Missouri shooting death of a black man by a white police officer included a speech by the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
The Oregonian reports that Jackson urged nonviolence and said the resignation of the officer was "a step in the right direction," but that much remained to be done to achieve justice for the victim.
Police say that after Jackson left, some protesters marched around downtown and sporadically disrupted traffic.
Officials say some bottles were thrown at officers and a police car was damaged.
The nine adults and one juvenile arrested will face charges that include disorderly conduct.
11/29/2014 10:15 PM EST
11/29/2014 10:01 PM EST
Large Police Presence
11/29/2014 9:42 PM EST
Saturday Night Protest In Ferguson
11/29/2014 9:26 PM EST
Armed 'Oath Keepers' Plan To Protest
The NYT reports that armed members of the group "Oath Keepers" are in Ferguson to offer their help protecting businesses from damage.
From the NYT:
The volunteers, who are sometimes described as a citizen militia — but do not describe themselves that way — have taken up armed positions on rooftops here on recent nights....
But on Saturday, with the county police said to be threatening the Oath Keepers with arrest, the volunteers decided to abandon their posts and instead protest against the authorities. Late in the day on Saturday, a protest was being planned for that night.
Read more here.
11/29/2014 6:56 PM EST
Darren Wilson Resigns From Ferguson Police Department
Darren Wilson has resigned from Ferguson police department.
Read his resignation letter below, via St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
"I, Darren Wilson, hereby resign my commission as a police officer with the City of Ferguson effective immediately. I have been told that my continued employment may put the residents and police officers of the City of Ferguson at risk, which is a circumstance that I cannot allow. For obvious reasons, I wanted to wait until the grand jury made their decision before I officially made my decision to resign. It was my hope to continue in police work, but the safety of other police officers and the community are of paramount importance to me. It is my hope that my resignation will allow the community to heal. I would like to thank all of my supporters and fellow officers throughout this process."
11/27/2014 12:55 PM EST
Murals In Ferguson
The group that's out painting right now also did this mural. It's a block or so from the Ferguson PD pic.twitter.com/tqgIUhR8C0— Jim Dalrymple II (@JimDalrympleII) November 27, 2014
11/27/2014 11:28 AM EST
Ferguson Protests Hit Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Unrest following the Ferguson grand jury's decision to not indict police officer Darren Wilson has hit the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Using #StopTheParade as a rallying cry, protesters attempted to disrupt the annual parade in New York City. According to Mashable, police arrested some of the demonstrators just as the parade kicked off.
11/27/2014 11:19 AM EST
Ferguson Library Stays Open Throughout The Protests
MSNBC's Steve Kornacki reports on Ferguson's public library, which has remained open throughout the protests.
Over 50 volunteers helped staff the library, which provided free lunches to children as schools remained closed. The library also offered help to businesses who suffered damage during the protests following the grand jury's decision.
"We have a dramatic setting right now but it is not different than what libraries do every day," library director Scott Bonner said.