© 2024 New Hampshire Public Radio

Persons with disabilities who need assistance accessing NHPR's FCC public files, please contact us at publicfile@nhpr.org.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Purchase your tickets for a chance to win $35k toward a new car or $25k in cash during NHPR's Summer Raffle!

Frustration, Anger Over Police Killings Ignite New Protests

Protesters hold caskets as they march across the Brooklyn Bridge for the second night in a row following a decision by a grand jury not to indict an NYPD officer involved in the chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York.
JOHN ANGELILLO
/
UPI /Landov
Protesters hold caskets as they march across the Brooklyn Bridge for the second night in a row following a decision by a grand jury not to indict an NYPD officer involved in the chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York.

Frustration about two recent cases in which unarmed black men were killed by police brought new protests and road closures to New York City, Chicago, Washington, Boston, Cleveland and elsewhere Thursday.

Many of the demonstrators timed their marches to disrupt rush-hour traffic. In New York, the iconic Brooklyn Bridge was shut down, and protesters crowded the terminal for the Staten Island Ferry.

The demonstrations come as the U.S. Justice Department pursues its own investigations into the recent police killings of Michael Brown, 18, in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner, 43, of Staten Island, N.Y. — two high-profile cases in which grand juries decided no charges should be filed.

The protests in New York have been mostly peaceful, with officials saying Thursday that only 83 arrests were made Wednesday night.

In Cleveland today, a crowd combined the protest slogans from those two cities into one. "Hands up," they yelled, referring to Brown, followed by "can't breathe," referring to Garner.

Thursday afternoon, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that a review of Cleveland's Division of Police showed it has "engaged in a pattern and practice of using excessive force," a new development in a city that recently saw a police officer shoot and kill a boy, 12, who had been playing with an air gun.

The New York jury's decision, announced Wednesday afternoon, set off demonstrations around the city. The case also prompted Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton to announce new training for the city's 20,000 patrol officers, with respect and safety of residents high on the list of priorities.

On Twitter, two terms that began trending 24 hours ago remain among the most-discussed hashtags on the service: #ICantBreathe, a reference to Garner's last words, and #CrimingWhileWhite, a discussion about race, law enforcement and equality.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.

You make NHPR possible.

NHPR is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.