NEW YORK – More than 120 people were arrested at a massive rally in New York City to protest the death of Freddie Gray, a Baltimore man who was critically injured in police custody.
Thousands gathered in Union Square Wednesday night, chanting “no justice, no peace” and “hands up, don’t shoot” as police officers watched.
A group known as Shut It Down took over Union Square on Wednesday evening with a protest in solidarity with Baltimore.
The NYPD was out in force. Police said over loudspeakers that protesters who marched in the roads would be arrested.
Indeed, when a group moved west along 17th Street, several police officers wearing helmets began arresting some marchers. Many marchers then retreated along 17th Street. The large group broke into smaller groups, with some protesters dispersing, some returning to Union Square, and others marching in different directions.
Video from SkyFoxHD showed police making many arrests. Fox 5’s Dan Bowens, who was on the ground, reported that cops cuffed several protesters.
Police arrested more than 60 people by late Wednesday evening, officials said. One police officer was hurt.
Many protesters streamed onto the West Side Highway and marched near the entrance to the Holland Tunnel, causing traffic delays.
Earlier in the day, the group’s Facebook page expected thousands to attend the protest.
“People of Baltimore have taken to the streets day after day for justice for Freddie Gray and for Black lives across the country but now that the National Guard has been called in and a curfew set, we must stand in solidarity with the people of Baltimore,” said a message on the Facebook page.
The NYPD said it was aware of the plans and deployed cops to the area. The department issued a statement:
“New York City is one of the safest largest cities in America. We deal with planned and unplanned demonstrations on a regular basis and support the right for people to demonstrate and voice their first amendment rights as long as they are peaceful and lawful. We encourage organizers and the community to work with the NYPD to ensure the safety of all those involved.”
In Baltimore, about a dozen people were arrested late Tuesday after protesting and breaking a mandatory curfew imposed following rioting earlier this week.
The chaos erupted after the funeral of Gray, who died while in police custody.