From Harlem to Union Square, they marched across Manhattan on Saturday voicing a united call for justice in the wake of the police-involved death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd.
The incident happened halfway across the country, but hit home for New Yorkers who have borne witness through the years to injustice and police brutality. For the most part, the protesters kept relatively calm as they walked across the island — a stark contrast to the events in Brooklyn the night before, where hundreds clashed with cops outside the Barclays Center.
But things took a terrible turn after sunset in Manhattan, especially near Union Square. More coverage on that can be found here.
The first major protest in Harlem saw thousands gather at the corner of 125th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard. As various elected officials and community leaders took to the microphone, other protesters stopped traffic for a time as they chanted Floyd’s name and demanded justice for his death.
The march then made its way across the neighborhood onto the FDR Drive and the Henry Hudson Parkway, shutting traffic down for a time. Some motorists took it in stride, honking their horns in support of the effort.
Along the way, the NYPD kept watch over the crowd, keeping the crowds in line without resulting in major scuffles with them.
Thousands again gathered at Union Square in support of Floyd and criminal justice reform. Again, the scene there Saturday was calmer than it was Thursday afternoon, when protesters and cops clashed, resulting in dozens of arrests.
As day slowly turned into night, there were some skirmishes between protesters and police at the crossroads of the world, Times Square.
Largely empty for the past few weeks during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was full of boisterous protesters who demanded that the officers connected to Floyd’s death be held accountable.