Thousands of protesters marched across the Brooklyn Bridge Thursday in a second day of demonstrations following a grand jury’s decision not to indict a white police officer in the chokehold death of an unarmed black man.
Police on the scene told NBC News that the Brooklyn-bound lanes were shut down in advance of the protest. Elsewhere, other protesters walked onto the West Side Highway for a second night in a row, shutting down traffic in both directions. The huge crowd was seen walking in front of and around cars stuck on the highway.
Large crowds gathered in Foley Square — near NYPD headquarters and City Hall — some chanting, “Hands up, don’t shoot,” and “black lives matter.”
A grand jury declined to indict white NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo in the July 17 death of Eric Garner, who died after being wrested to the ground with Pantaleo’s arm around his neck, while telling officers, “I can’t breathe.” A bystander captured the incident on video.
“Anger is not even a word, outrage is my word. Those words don’t begin to define the decomposition of your soul when you hear something like this,” said one protester, who identified himself as Graham D., 33. “Before, no one believed this was happening, but now we have clear distinct evidence that police abuse is happening and still nothing happens.”
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Protesters also marched in Washington, D.C., for a second straight day. A group of about 100 people staged a “die-in” near the White House as a Christmas Tree lighting ceremony went off about a block away, NBC Washington reported. Police in Boston were expecting 4,000 protesters in demonstrations also planned to coincide with a tree lighting ceremony on Boston Common, NBC station WHDH reported.
In Chicago, hundreds marched during rush hour Thursday. Crowds later walked onto the Dan Ryan Expressway, briefly closing it, until police escorted them off the road.