Brooklyn returns to the streets for George Floyd protests after wild night

Protesters take a knee near police barricades. (Photo by Ben Verde)


After an evening of protests across the borough and the city, demonstrators reconvened near Prospect Park on Saturday afternoon to continue their calls for justice in response to the videotaped killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.

Saturday’s protest comes on the heels of a raucous Friday night, during which over three thousand protesters gathered outside the Barclays Center to decry Floyd’s death — which resulted from white officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for eight continuous minutes.

Chauvin was arrested and charged with murder and manslaughter on Friday, but demonstrations against police brutality have continued across the country. New York City saw at least one clash between protesters and police in each borough on Saturday afternoon, while protesters planned to continue into the night.

Hundreds of protesters reconvened in Flatbush Saturday afternoon to continue their calls for justice for George Floyd.
(Photo by Ben Verde)

Police presence was noticeably thinner in Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon and the protest itself was peaceful — but the message remained the same, attendees said.

“I’m out here today to join forces with the protesters about all the injustice that’s going on in America and also in the police system,” demonstrator Sherniel Jones told Brooklyn Paper.

Jones, who said she was against any form of rioting, was admittedly worried that the event may once more turn violent — although, she said, things remained “really peaceful” while the sun was up.

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Parkside Avenue subway station early Saturday afternoon before marching east towards Tilden Avenue. Along the way, demonstrators beat drums and other percussion instruments, while chanting messages such as, “No justice, no peace,” and “We are George.”

A Flatbush resident takes part in the protest from their fire escape.
(Photo by Ben Verde)

Some B41 bus drivers honked loudly in support of Parkside protesters, one day after the Transit Workers Union stepped in and prevented cops from recommissioning city busses for use in transporting detainees.

Shortly after 5 p.m., protesters took a knee near Flatbush Avenue and Regent Place, where police officers placed barricades. Officers eventually relented and allowed crowds — significantly smaller than when the gathering first began at the Parkside Avenue station — to continue down Flatbush.

Some contingents of the protest, split by cops, grew rowdier as the evening went on with protesters and police clashing yet again. Shortly after 6:30 pm, a 1010 WINS reporter was hit in the head with a glass bottle by a protester near Flatbush Avenue and Flatbush Junction and had to receive medical attention.

As of 8 p.m., protesters were continuing to descend upon Grand Army Plaza, and parts of Downtown Brooklyn and Flatbush. Demonstrators have also made their way to the Brooklyn Bridge.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is also reportedly on the ground in Flatbush “meeting with leadership on the ground,” according to a spokeswoman.

More details to come on the protests in Brooklyn as the night continues.