Wednesday, April 29, 2015, New York NY: In a show of solidarity with the city of Baltimore, hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Manhattan’s historic Union Square Park demanding justice for Freddie Gray, the 25 year-old man who died in Baltimore police custody.
With colorful placards displaying the images of black men who have died in police custody, and chants of “Black Lives Matter!” “Baltimore is Harlem!” “Shut It Down!,” “No Justice, No Peace!” and “Baltimore is Ferguson!,” among others, the multicultural convergence was under close surveillance by the New York City Police Department.
When the Union Square group began to fragment and move towards additional Manhattan landmarks including Times Square, the Hudson River, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Holland Tunnel, and West Side Highway – 143 arrests were made by New York City police, mostly for disorderly conduct. According to NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, two protesters assaulted police officers, and as a result, one was injured.
Erica Garner, the daughter of Eric Garner who died after a Staten Island police officer subdued him with a chokehold during an arrest, was among the guest speakers in Union Square who rallied the crowd.
The Union Square protest, which was organized mostly by social media, was one of many demonstrations which have unfolded in American cities including Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Ferguson, Missouri, among others, in opposition to police brutality and on behalf of Freddie Gray, who died from spinal cord injuries on April 19, one week after his arrest in Baltimore.