Police death protests hit US cities

Published: Saturday 6th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Protesters rallied across America for a third day over a New York grand jury’s decision not to charge a white police officer over the chokehold death of an unarmed black man.

More than 100 demonstrators lapped Manhattan’s Columbus Circle, then walked to an Apple store, where they lay on the floor for a few minutes as a symbolic die-in.

They walked down through Fifth Avenue’s renowned shopping district, carrying signs and chanting “Black lives matter” and “I can’t breathe” – gasped by Eric Garner, 43, after he was put into the chokehold while being arrested for selling loose, untaxed cigarettes.

Nationwide, tensions were already running high because of a grand jury’s decision last week not to charge a white officer over the fatal shooting of black teenager Michael Brown, 18, in Ferguson, Missouri.

In suburban New York City, about 65 demonstrators lay down on a street corner for seven minutes in protest.

In New Haven, Connecticut, home of Yale University, hundreds marched from the law school to the court. In New Jersey, dozens of students from Rutgers University walked through New Brunswick, slowing rush-hour traffic to a crawl and forcing the city to postpone a tree lighting ceremony at Monument Square.

In Colorado, students walked out of classes to protest at the grand jury decisions in New York and Ferguson. In Aurora, a suburb of Denver, black eighth-grader Bennie Mahonda walked about five miles to the municipal centre, shouting “Hands up, don’t shoot!” to honks from passing cars.

She had her parents’ permission but promised her mother she would return to school after the demonstration, which she called “social studies outside of class”.

“It makes us kids feel unsafe, that we’re outsiders, enemies of society,” Bennie said of the grand juries’ decisions by the grand juries.

In Florida, activists marched through the streets of mid-town Miami and blocked a major causeway connecting the city to Miami Beach. In Providence, several hundred people blocked streets, while city police had to stop some protesters from walking on to Interstate 95. No arrests were reported.

The protests have been mostly peaceful.

Published: Saturday 6th December 2014 by The News Editor

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