Note: These images do not reflect the views or opinions of the photographer.
Thousands took to the streets all over New York City Thursday to protest a Grand Jury decision not to indict law enforcement officers involved in the death of Brooklyn resident Eric Garner.
Eric Garner was arrested by NYPD for illegally selling untaxed individual cigarettes. During the arrest, officers employed a chokehold which caused Garner, an asthmatic, to experience an episode of restricted breathing from which he later died.
A video that has gone viral in recent weeks shows the aggressive nature in which Garner was subdued. Garner can be heard saying “I can’t breathe” 11 times, a phrase that has become the mantra of a movement.
The incident has stirred a hornets nest of activists in New York City and around the country. Protesters have come out of the wood work to march hand-in-hand and disrupt normal, every day life in an effort to have their voices heard.
While police have remained generally hands off, late Thursday night things took an ugly turn after protestors blocked traffic in Times Square.
NYPD demanded the crowd disperse, but that did not deter a firm footed crowd standing arm-in-arm as police dressed in riot gear amassed before them. After one final announcement to disperse or face arrest, police began taking activists into custody, aggressively at times. By the time it was all over, at least 220 protestors were arrested.
Protestors march uptown through oncoming traffic.
Commuters trapped on buses can only watch and wait as protestors snarl traffic all over New York City.
Thousands of demonstrators form a circle in Herald Square before participating in a “die-in.” A “die-in” is the evolution of a “sit-in,” an act in which demonstrators lay on the ground and play dead to emulate those who died at the hands of law enforcement.
“Don’t Shoot” can be seen on the hands of a girl participating in a “die-in” in Herald Square.
Protesters march past the “Believe” sign hung on Macy’s flagship store in Herald Square.
Activists block traffic and climb over cars as they passionately march toward Times Square.
Protestors lock arms as they come face-to-face with police lines in Times Square.
After refusing to move from the street, and allow traffic to pass, police begin arresting demonstrators at the south end of Times Square.
Some protests were calm, others were more aggressive.
Many protestors resisted arrest as the tried and failed to fight their way free from police.
A girl screams her name inaudibly as police arrest her at the south end of Times Square.
Tourists take pictures of chaos as they sit on buses blocked by thousands of protestors in Times Square.
Police form lines to block protestors from retaking streets around Times Square.
Police use batons to push protestors back onto sidewalks.
Police in riot gear clog streets once filled with demonstrators.