NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Protests continued across the country Friday after a white Minneapolis police officer who was was seen on video kneeling on the neck of a black man was arrested and charged with murder.Lionel Virgile Accused Of Throwing Bleach In Officer's Face, Tossing Lit Molotov Cocktail At Other Officers In Brooklyn
“Too much brothers and sisters that look like us dying and we’re tired of it. We’re from New York, but it happens all over the world and it needs to stop,” protester Maria Almestica said.
Organizers asked people bring flowers in Floyd’s honor. The words “I can’t breathe” were on countless banners, masks and lips.
“I’m fifteen years old. This is my first protest, and I feel like if the younger generation doesn’t help, who will?” one protester said.
“Gay, black, straight, everyone’s down here for a right reason,” protester David Blair said.
Protesters shut down traffic in Lower Manhattan, despite hundreds of NYPD officers trying to keep them on the sidewalks.
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“Our police officers have been given a very clear instruction as always: respect peaceful protests,” he said.
De Blasio urged them to respect police, saying if they’re angry that anger should be directed at elected leaders, not police officers trying to do their job.
While the day was mostly peaceful, tensions boiled at times.
CBS2 saw several people pushed to the ground or taken away in handcuffs as the crowd cried out in their defense.
Officers chased people down the street and even used pepper spray on some.
“We don’t wanna be looting, burning buildings down and everything, but we want our voice to be heard. Stop killing us,” one protester said.Producer Scott Rudin Will 'Step Back' From Broadway Duties After Allegations Of Abusive Behavior
At every corner of the crowd, the collective pain was palpable.
“It doesn’t make sense to me that it’s 2020 and we’re still doing this,” protester Nikki Batista said. “How? How is this still happening?”
Crowds later gathered in the area of Fort Greene outside the 88th Precinct station house.
The NYPD said as of 11 p.m., the situation was not under control.
Mayor Bill de Blasio responded on Twitter, saying, “We have a long night ahead of us in Brooklyn.”
We have a long night ahead of us in Brooklyn. Our sole focus is deescalating this situation and getting people home safe. There will be a full review of what happened tonight. We don’t ever want to see another night like this.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) May 30, 2020
Sources confirm vandalism to NYPD cars, including vehicles set on fire.
CBS2 has also been told several officers have been injured. None of the injuries were life-threatening, but at least one officer was punched in the head and several others were injured by debris.
Police say dozens were arrested during Friday’s protests in New York City.
Earlier in the day on Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo expressed his support for the protesters.
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“I stand with protesters and I think all well-meaning Americans stand with protesters. Enough is enough. How many times do you need to see same lesson replayed before you do something? This country is better than this. It’s always been better than this. It shouldn’t take this long to end basic discrimination and basic injustice,” Cuomo said.MORE NEWS: Man Arrested After Allegedly Using Anti-Asian Slurs, Harassing Undercover Officer In Queens
Roughly 70 people were arrested during demonstrations in New York on Thursday night.