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Massive March in New York Demanding Justice for Freddie Gray and Other Victims of Police Violence

May 2, 2015 in Blogs

By Terrell Jermaine Starr, AlterNet

Some in the crowd had their own stories about their own brutal encounters with the police.

More than 1, 500 protesters marched through the streets of New York City Friday evening after six Baltimore officers involved in Freddie Gray’s arrest were charged in his death earlier in the day. “May Day for Freddie Gray! May Day for Freddie Gray!” chanted throughout the three-hour long march from Union Square to Foley Square.

At least one man was  arrested near Union Square after he  jumped a barricade. “I’ll be back,” the man said as officers walked him off in handcuffs and hundreds of onlookers cheered him on. Several bottles were thrown at officers outside the barricades moments later, with one bursting near them after hitting the ground. Outside of that, there were no major conflicts between officers and protesters.

Wednesday night’s march, however, was much more intense. More than 140 people were arrested after thousands of people gathered at Union Square then broke off into small groups and marched through several neighborhoods. Some of the protesters taken into custody were seen being thrown to the ground and handled aggressively.

City Councilman Jumaane Williams said he wanted to show up at Friday’s protest because he was troubled by reports of police officers being overly aggressive with protesters Wednesday night.

“It very much disturbed me and made me concerned that there might have been too much of an aggressive tone,” Williams, who represents several neighborhoods in central Brooklyn, told AlterNet. “The balance has to be struck but if protesters are going to take over the streets and block the bridges and tunnels, which I believe is a legitimate form of non-violent protest, there’s going to be arrest in exchange for that. So I think we have to find that balance and understand that’s going to happen. The police are going to do there job, but it should be done without aggression and in a non-violent way.”

Walking outside of the tightly barricaded throng of protesters marching in support of Freddie Gray was a man who says that he too was …read more


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