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LIVE UPDATES: Sunday evening protests in NYC bring some clashes among the calm

Marching along 6th Avenue in Greenwich Village on May 31, 2020. (Photo by Dean Moses)

BY ROBERT POZARYCKI, MARK HALLUM, ALEJANDRA O’CONNELL-DOMENECH AND GRANT LANCASTER

For the fourth straight night, hundreds of protesters have converged upon areas of Brooklyn and Manhattan Sunday evening for rallies following last week’s police-involved death of Minneapolis’ George Floyd.

Nearly a thousand individuals walked from Union Square — the site of a chaotic evening Saturday — to Bryant Park. Another major gathering occurred at Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza, then moved past the Barclays Center and on to Lower Manhattan.

Crowds at Grand Army Plaza listened to speeches and gathered across the arch holding signs – but no police were on site. Speakers spoke about racism in this country and among police officers. (Photo by Todd Maisel)

For the most part, the atmosphere at the Brooklyn and Manhattan rallies are rather docile, according to amNY reporters on scene, with crowd size down from the previous two evenings. Yet there have been reports of some trouble as the evening went on.

Photo by Dean Moses
A marcher heading to Bryant Park in Manhattan on May 31, 2020. (Photo by Mark Hallum)

From Bryant Park, the marchers headed back south to Foley Square. More than 3,000 of them gathered near the entrance to the New York courthouse there.

Along the way, the organizers have been working to keep the peace. One video shows an organizer commanding protesters to avoid confrontations with police, and to report any demonstrator who acts violently.

The group in Foley Square is considering “hitting the [Manhattan] bridge” in order to show support to another group at Barclays Center, who they believe is experiencing opposition from police.

 

Crowds at Grand Army Plaza listened to speeches and gathered across the arch holding signs – but no police were on site (Photo by Todd Maisel)

On the other side of the river, more than a thousand protesters marched for justice reform past the Barclays Center and were heading toward the Manhattan Bridge as well. 

 

There, the mood is more peaceful than in previous nights, though there were reports of arrests.

Police wound up arresting a protester who allegedly threw water bottles at them. As a result, other protesters urged their colleagues to stop throwing debris and to instead “listen to black leadership.”

At the corner of Canal and Church Streets, protesters were met with a line of NYPD officers in riot gear at about 9:12 p.m. The group stopped in silent protest for a bit, but moments later, the cops charged at them, sending many running. It’s not clear what prompted the charge.

Police officers kneel in solidarity with Black Lives Matter protesters in Times Square on May 31, 2020. (Photo by Dean Moses)
Thousands of protesters in Times Square on May 31, 2020. (Photo by Dean Moses)

The officers then retreated back toward the intersection, and the protesters resumed, taking a knee to recall those individuals killed as a result of police brutality.

 

There were also some isolated reports of property damage related to the protest, including windows smashed out at an apartment building on Howard Street, a ransacked store on the same block and vandalism of a parked NYPD vehicle near Mott and Canal Streets.

Protesters have also been spotted looting storefronts along Broadway. Yet some demonstrators have stepped in to stop the destruction.

 

In another instance, looters stole booze from the Warehouse Wine and Liquors store at 735 Broadway. Their effort was stopped by a resident living above the shop who heard the commotion, called police and went down to the store, armed with an iron bar, to confront them before they ran off.

“The small businesses have not hurt anybody. It’s counterproductive,” the resident told amNewYork Metro. “These are not protesters. The people who looted this store are not serving the memory of anybody. They’re opportunists taking advantage of the situation for their own benefit.”

A resident informs police about looters at the Warehouse Wines and Liquor store on Broadway in SoHo on May 31, 2020. (Photo by Mark Hallum)

Protesters have moved back to the north in Manhattan, with some encountering police officers near Grace Church on 11th Street. Officers have urged marchers to disperse for creating a disturbance. They were met with chants of “Peaceful Protests,” “George Floyd” and “Breona Taylor,” another victim of police brutality.

 

 

 

Meanwhile in Brooklyn, there were disturbances that broke out at the Barclays Center just before 11 p.m.

 

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