From New York City to Miami Beach, Fla., to Oakland, Calif., protesters across the nation staged die-ins, blocked roadways and marched into stores to protest grand jury decisions in New York City and Ferguson, Mo., not to indict white police officers in the deaths of unarmed black men.
In New York City, hundreds of protesters marched and many briefly lay in Macy’s flagship store, as well as in Grand Central Terminal and an Apple Store, the Associated Press reports. They filed along upscale Fifth Avenue sidewalks and other parts of Manhattan, with signs and chants of “Black lives matter” and “I can't breathe,” an homage to the last words of Eric Garner, 43, who died after a New York City police officer placed him in a choke hold on a sidewalk in July in Staten Island.
This week a grand jury decided against indicting the officer involved in Garner’s death—Daniel Pantaleo—rejuvenating protests nationwide nearly a week after a grand jury declined to bring charges against Officer Darren Wilson of the Ferguson, Mo., police in the shooting death of Michael Brown, 18.
News outlets reported Friday that demonstrators blocked traffic in Lower Manhattan on FDR Drive, a major freeway, prompting some arrests, the report says. Police did not immediately have information on the number of arrests, the report says.
In Oakland, demonstrators briefly blocked Interstate 880 on Friday night, the report says. Not far from the White House, protesters in Washington, D.C., clogged streets in front of major venues to drive home their point.
In Florida, activists marched through the streets of midtown Miami and blocked a major causeway connecting Miami to Miami Beach, the report says. And students in parts of the country walked out of classes to protest the grand jury decisions, AP writes.
“Hands up, don't shoot!” eighth-grader Bennie Mahonda of suburban Denver chanted as she walked about 5 miles to the municipal center, garnering shouts and honks from passersby, the report says. She had her parents’ permission to participate in the march but had promised her mother that she would return to class after the demonstration, which she called “social studies outside of class,” according to AP.
“It makes us kids feel unsafe, that we’re outsiders, enemies of society,” Bennie, who is black, told AP of the decisions by the grand juries in the Brown and Garner cases.
Read more at the Associated Press.