Protests in New York Tuesday following the decision in Ferguson, Missouri resulted in the closure of several bridges and in two arrests, including one after a protester tossed fake blood on the police commissioner in Times Square.
NYPD Chief William Bratton said the department is giving protesters “breathing room” to express outrage over the decision by a grand jury not to indict a white police officer in the shooting death of an unarmed black man, 18-year-old Michael Brown.
“As long as they remain non-violent, and as long as they don’t engage in issues that cause fear or create vandalism, we will work with them to allow them to demonstrate,” he said.
Bratton was hit with fake blood tossed by Diego Ibanez, 26, of Brooklyn, who was arrested on an assault charge. Bratton took the incident in stride, joking that the substance was “vegetable-based” and that he hoped it would come out of the suit he wore Monday night. One other person was arrested Monday night for throwing a bottle at police.
Demonstrations continued Tuesday, with a small group of protesters gathered outside federal court in Brooklyn, one of several demonstrations organized by Al Sharpton’s National Action Network.
About a dozen minority City Council members briefly walked out of a council meeting at City Hall this afternoon, chanting “black lives matter” and then later “hands up, don’t shoot” before returning to the meeting.
Hundreds of people swarmed through traffic, closely trailed by police officers, and help a rally in Times Square, stopping traffic for more than a dozen blocks.
One resident was heard shouting, “Get them arrested! They have no business here!”
The protesters briefly shut down the Brooklyn Bridge and one of the three spans of the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, formerly known as the Triborough Bridge.
Sharpton also brought up the accidental death of a man last week in a Brooklyn city housing project at the hands of a police officer, saying “we are dealing with the same attitudes of Ferguson right here in the city.”
While Sharpton said that police appeared to have handled the issue well, Assemblyman-elect Charles Barron, a former Black Panther, called it “criminally negligent homicide,” and said that Bratton must resign.
Bratton previously called the shooting an apparent accident that claimed a “totally innocent” life. On Monday, he dismissed those calling for his departure, saying, “That’s the entertainment for the evening.”
After the event, Bratton said he didn’t pay attention to anything Charles Barron said, calling the former councilman an “incendiary device.”