NEW YORK, New York–Protesters angry about the no indictment verdict of an NYPD officer who held a black man in a choke hold before he died marched around New York City Wednesday night, shutting down bridges, the Lincoln Tunnel, the West Side Highway, and Times Square.
The annual Rockefeller Center tree lighting was also disrupted and a number of protesters held a “die-in” at Grand Central Station. Additionally, a police cruiser and a personal car were fire-bombed by a perpetrator, who was later caught, at the NYPD’s 77th precinct in Brooklyn.
Some protesters laid down in the middle of roads and bridges, while others threw street cones and other objects to obstruct law enforcement. Chanting phrases like, “I can’t breathe,” eighty-three protesters were arrested by police on Wednesday night during the march.
National Action Network’s Al Sharpton called for a national day of protest next week for Garner. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio angered some members of law enforcement when he said in his remarks following the verdict:
So I’ve had to worry over the years. Chirlane’s had to worry. Is Dante safe each night? There are so many families in this city who feel that each and every night. Is my child safe? And not just from some of the painful realities–crime and violence in some of our neighborhoods–but is safe from the very people they want to have faith in as their protectors. That’s the reality.
Protests are expected to continue in New York Thursday night.