About 2,000 people took to the streets of midtown Manhattan on Monday night after it was announced that a Ferguson, Mo., police officer would not face criminal charges for fatally shooting Michael Brown.
“Justice for Mike Brown! Justice for Mike Brown!” they chanted to the sound of a few drums.
Keeshan Harley, 20, of Brooklyn, said police routinely harass men of color. “It’s an everyday occurence,” he said. “I’m harassed when I come out of the subway, when I walk down the street.”
The marchers spread over four blocks and included a variety of ages and races, though most of them were young adults.
Police, mainly in patrol cars, watched the marchers’ progress as they headed up 6th Avenue toward Times Square. The end of the march was followed by a line of police cars and vans with their lights flashing.
At least one man was arrested after throwing what looked to be a brown paper bag with fake blood in it. It hit a photographer in the crowd at Times Square, but most likely was meant for police on the scene.
A grand jury decided not to indict Darren Wilson, a white police officer, in the shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.
St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch on Monday night said “no probable cause exists” to charge Wilson on any of the five charges he could have faced. McCulloch said some eyewitness accounts, which said Brown was shot while fleeing, did not match the forensic evidence.
“It was a done deal. I’m not surprised,” said Fredericke Taylor, 74, as she left a restaurant with three friends on 6th Avenue as the protest moved by. “I’m sad about it.”
Also marching was Cecilia Cholst, 26, who said, “It’s the same thing we saw with Trayvon Martin. It’s obvious that man killed Michael Brown, and somehow there is no way to convict him. It’s ridiculous!”
She went on marching and chanting, “The people united will never be defeated.”
Other marchers took up a chant that was heard shortly after the Aug. 9 incident.
“Hand ups, don’t shoot” echoed through the streets.