Thousands of people gathered on Saturday in the New York borough of Staten Island to protest near the spot where Eric Garner, an unarmed 43-year-old black man, died last month after white police officers used an illegal chokehold while trying to subdue and arrest him.
As tensions continued to simmer in Ferguson, Missouri, over the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, by a white police officer earlier this month, up to 15,000 people were initially forecast to march in New York and call for justice and fair policing. On Saturday, however, a marshal at the event told the Guardian between 5,000 and 7,000 marchers were expected.
“I’m here today because I don’t want my nephews, who are aged one, two and three, to have to march when their generation grows up,” said Carolyn Butts, 47, who publishes African Voices magazine, as she headed towards the protest.
“My grandfather lives in Norfolk, Virginia, Reverend David Butts, and he protested with Martin Luther King during the civil rights march in the hope that my generation would not have to do this. I’m sad that I have to march today but after what happened to Eric Garner and everything going on in Ferguson it’s just too much. I’m not normally an activist but we don’t want any more Michael Browns.”