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Published On: Fri, Dec 5th, 2014

Eric Garner death: NYC hampered by thousands who continue to protest

Thousands continued to take to the street and protest the grand jury decision not to indict an officer for the death of an unarmed black man who died after being detained in a chokehold.

Reports of 10,000 or more rallied in Foley Square to protest the decision not to prosecute Officer Daniel Pantaleo on criminial charges. Pantaleo’s arms wrapped around Garner’s neck as he yelled, “I can’t breathe” – all of this was filmed by a bystander.

Following the Foley Square gathering, thousands disrupted traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge, shutting it down temporarily as other groups splintered off and headed to the other points in the city. The Staten Island Ferry was shut down in both directions, as was the West Side Highway. Demonstrators also blocked the Holland Tunnel and staged rallies in Union Square, Times Square, and Herald Square.
screenshot YouTube coverage of Eric Garner "arrest"

screenshot YouTube coverage of Eric Garner “arrest”

It’s important to note that in many areas, demonstrations were largely peaceful and nonviolent.

In Times Square, people staged a “die-in” by spreading themselves across the ground. In Herald Square, a sit-in was conducted which halted traffic temporarily.

On the West Side Highway police used pepper spray after warning those in the area were subject to arrest, to which the crowd responded with chants of, You serve us!”

Despite arrest warnings, the huge crowd pushed forward into the police line, and was large enough to break through law enforcement and make its way onto the highway.

Witnesses say the protesters chanted slogans like, Eric Garner, Michael Brown: Shut the whole system down,” and “I can’t breathe,” referring to Garner’s last words.

“We just can’t be silent. Enough is enough,” one woman told the press on scene. She among a group calling for penalties against Pantaleo AND the officers who did not aid Garner when he collapsed to the ground.

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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