Two weeks after a grand jury’s decision not to indict a police officer in the death of a black man spurred waves of protests in New York City and around the country, some organizers of the protests will meet with the city’s mayor on Friday.
A poll released Wednesday reveals that the majority of New Yorkers approve of the way Mayor Bill de Blasio has handled the demonstrations taking place around the city to protest the killings of unarmed black men by police officers.
Earlier this week, thousands of New Yorkers poured out of Washington Square Park as part of Millions March NYC and demonstrators took to the streets in other cities to march in solidarity. These were the latest in a series of demonstrations following two separate grand jury decisions not to indict white police officers who killed unarmed black men on Staten Island and in Ferguson.
Groups chanted, “I can’t breath,” the last words of Garner, the 43-year-old father of six who died in July by after a NYPD officer held him in a “chokehold”.
“We sit at home, we’re sad at what we see on the news, but it’s not enough to do that,” said a woman who identified herself as Robyn. “You have to make a stand and say what you believe,” she added. Robyn, who is a mother of three black sons, says that the safety of men like her sons is threatened by police.
“There is more white than black, more young than old,” a woman said of the individuals marching.
The phrase “black lives matter” served as a mantra for many demonstrators who voiced frustration regarding the killings of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Tamir Rice, all killed by police within the past months.
“We felt like we wanted to be here as a family and be a part of the movement,” said Carrie Gleason, a white woman who participated in the march with her partner and small child. She added, “it is our responsibility like anybody else’s.”