Hundreds of protesters gathered at various points in the city of New York on Wednesday night after a grand jury decided not to take legal action against the officer cop who killed African American Eric Garner during a clash in July.
In the vicinity of Rockefeller Center, hundreds of people gathered to protest, within hours of the event starts lighting of the Christmas tree. Some of them were detained by police, reports The New York Times.
Shortly after six p.m. local time, hundreds of people took to Times Square and began marching north on the sidewalk of Seventh Avenue. It was they who showed their intentions to go to the Rockefeller Center, but a number of police barricades kept away from their target.
While dozens of protesters tried to push the barricades while shouting: “We have the right to public space” and “We have the right to cross the street.”
Also in Staten Island many demonstrators also gathered at the place where he died Garner and expressed their disagreement with the decision without violence is reported. At night, protesters were still in place various shouted slogans such as “No justice, no peace, no racist police”.
Benjamin Carr, Eric Garner’s stepfather, who was in the place, also expressed outrage at the decision of the grand jury.
“I’m tired of hearing about abuses by the police, killing minorities throughout the country,” said Christopher Cannon, 20, a student at Fordham University.
Earlier, about two dozen people sat down quietly near the information booth in Grand Central Terminal. Some were dressed in red and gradually, the number of protesters increased to 50. In both cases, the police pushed the protesters to the sidewalk.
One protester, a man who appeared to be in his 50s or 60s, tied a scarf around his neck, pulled up and said:
“He drowned,” the man said. “It’s a modern-day lynching”.
“I have two degrees from Ivy League and I cannot believe I live in a country where this is happening in 2014,” said Talibah Newman, 30.
Garner, who was strangled at the hands of the officer, suffered from asthma and had been arrested for the illegal sale of cigarettes.
The grand jury reviewed a number of possible charges against the officer, including homicide, reckless endangerment and criminal negligence, but eventually ruled all.
Within hours of the announcement, the Justice Department said it will launch a federal civil rights investigation. Attorney General Eric Holder said it will be an “independent, thorough, impartial and expeditious” investigation, both relatives of Garner as many activists have called in recent months.
Holder called Garner’s death as “a tragedy” and “one of several recent incidents across our great country that tested our sense of confidence” in applying the law.
Garner, 43, who was asthmatic, died on July 17 by asphyxiation, according to the autopsy determined after a plainclothes police officer, Daniel Pantaleo, placed his arm around her neck and implement a key bottleneck prohibited the state of New York.
A passerby recorded a video of what happened where it is heard Garner, who had six children, repeatedly saying he could not breathe.
City officials have been preparing for the possibility of protests as a response to the decision of the grand jury.