After weeks of being cooped up to stay alive, thousands of New Yorkers have taken to the city’s streets to protest a death.
For four days marchers have ignored the city’s restrictions on public gatherings — in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus — to express their outrage over the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.
The protests started Thursday night in Union Square, but over the next few days spread to other parts of the city, including Jackson Heights in Queens, Flatbush and Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn and the South Bronx.
Demonstrators marched across the Brooklyn Bridge. They held up signs with the names of other New Yorkers who have been killed by police: Eric Garner, Akai Gurley, Delrawn Small. And as with protests in cities across the country, the crowds were diverse but united by anger.
Many protesters have been peaceful, but there have been dozens of injuries, hundreds of arrests, smashed storefronts and burned police vehicles. The police said at least 786 people had been arrested, 33 officers had been injured and 47 police vehicles damaged or destroyed, including more than a dozen set afire. There were tense confrontations with police that ended with protesters being pepper sprayed and beaten with batons.
The protests showed no sign of letting up on Sunday, as thousands of people gathered at sites across the city — including Barclays Center in Brooklyn and Foley Square in Manhattan — for another night of marching.