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Scene from Brooklyn protests Friday include birthday vigil for Breonna Taylor, arrest of senator’s aide

Protesters make their way through Downtown Brooklyn. (Photo by Paul Frangipane)

BY MEAGHAN MCGOLDRICK AND ALEJANDRA O’CONNELL-DOMENECH

Protesters came together in Downtown Brooklyn on Friday to remember Breonna Taylor, the young black woman fatally shot by Louisville police officers in early March, on what would have been her 27th birthday.

Taylor, an EMT, was shot eight times by Louisville cops who wrongly believed there were illegal drugs in her apartment. Thousands of protesters descended upon the Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Branch near Grand Army Plaza on Friday afternoon for a march in her honor.

On the eighth straight day of protests in Brooklyn, and the ninth citywide, activists marched across Atlantic Avenue from Grand Army Plaza to Brooklyn Borough Hall on what would have been Breonna Taylor’s 27th birthday.
(Photo by Paul Frangipane)

The demonstration came on the ninth straight day of protests citywide in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, and to decry the recent police killings of a number of black people across the country. The New York City demonstrations mirror those happening around the globe, which began almost immediately after the killing of 46-year-old George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer on May 25.

A woman yells back at chants of “I Can’t Breathe,” on Atlantic Avenue.
(Photo by Paul Frangipane)

Friday’s crowd sang “Happy Birthday” to Taylor, as motorists driving by honked in support. A moment of silence was followed by a march to Brooklyn Borough Hall, where they sang “Happy Birthday” a few more times and danced in the streets.

Activists gathered on the steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall after marching from Grand Army Plaza.
(Photo by Paul Frangipane)

The peaceful showing was one of many in Brooklyn on Friday — including a mass Muslim prayer at the Barclays Center. Those who participated in the prayer then marched towards Grand Army Plaza, where they joined the group commemorating Taylor, and the group of protesters carried on together.

After a prayer at the Barclays Center, local activists march up Flatbush Avenue.
(Photo by Paul Frangipane)
Activists dance in the middle of Atlantic Avenue singing “Happy Birthday” to Breonna Taylor.
(Photo by Paul Frangipane)

As in nights before, the day of peaceful protests was capped by aggressive arrests by police enforcing Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 8 p.m. curfew. Authorities said on Saturday that approximately 40 people were arrested citywide the previous night — down significantly from a reported 270 on Thursday.

But, those 40 included at least a few essential workers, according to reporters on the scene. At about 12:30 am on Saturday near Nostrand Avenue and Montgomery Street in Crown Heights, at least one woman wearing scrubs was seen being taken away by police in zip ties as another woman in scrubs pleaded for her — and other protesters’ — release.

“What is funny about people being killed?” she asks the police. “We want peace.”

Not far away, police charged at Bushwick State Sen. Julia Salazar’s Communications Director Michael Carter, before arresting him on his own block.

Salazar said on Saturday that Carter had been filming the arrest of a black healthcare worker minutes before his arrest.

“We acted swiftly to ensure Michael was safe and released to go home,” she said. “Many haven’t been as lucky.”

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