Saturday was the third night New York City saw protests over the death of George Floyd.
Protesters marched back and forth along 14th Street in Lower Manhattan on Saturday afternoon before moving across the Brooklyn Bridge, shutting down Brooklyn-bound lanes.
As they have the last two days, protests in Brooklyn started off peacefully.
The marchers making a statement as they walked across the Brooklyn Bridge.
At the Barclays Center, protesters on loudspeakers calling for police brutality to end.
“Your badge is not justice, you are here to protect the law,” one protester said.
“The law cannot be just for us, it has to be for everyone,” one woman said.
“We not only need to speak our truth, but we need action, so that’s why I’m out here today,” another protester said.
Demonstrators chanted and smashed windshields to police cruisers.
The police responded with their batons and arrests.
Videos posted to social media appeared to show at least two NYPD vehicles that had been set on fire along Bedford Avenue.
Another video appears to show protesters standing behind a barricade throwing debris at an NYPD vehicle before the vehicle lurches forward into the crowd.
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez released a statement in response to the recent protests.
Statement from Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez: pic.twitter.com/CBxpippxSM
— Eric Gonzalez (@BrooklynDA) May 31, 2020
It said in part, “I join with all of you who say enough and never again, and I am committed to changing the system of justice in Brooklyn to one we can all trust. But we cannot build that trust by tearing our community apart.”
He goes on to encourage anyone with video of unlawful conduct by either protesters or the police to contact his office.
Meanwhile in Manhattan, protesters made their way from Times Square through Midtown to Union Square, leaving a trail of debris in their wake.
Protests and rallies flaring up all over the city this afternoon and tonight. We followed behind as demonstrators marched from Times Square to Union Square. We have seen at least a dozen arrests @CBSNewYork pic.twitter.com/7rfi1P2LUO
— Natalie Duddridge (@NatDuddridgeTV) May 31, 2020
People were seen spraying graffiti, knocking over garbage and starting small fires.
Two NYPD vans were set on fire near Union Square. CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reports that an officer told protesters and news crews to back up because there were bullets in the vehicles. Several mini explosions were heard as the van burned.
Some protests in New York earlier in the day on Saturday were largely peaceful, but they disrupted traffic and led to arrests.
A handful of demonstrators were arrested after blocking parts of FDR Drive on Manhattan’s East Side, and in Harlem, large crowds gathered and marched through the streets.
According to police, there were at least 50 arrests Saturday.
During a press conference just after 11:30 p.m., Mayor Bill de Blasio asked protesters to go home.
“If any of you are still out there tonight, or trying to work peacefully for change, let me be very clear. We hear your desire to see these issues, relationship between police and community, the need for justice, the need for real change in our society. We hear you loud and clear, we appreciate respect all peaceful protests, but now it’s time for people to go home,” he said. “If you went out peacefully to make a point about the need for change, you have been heard and changes coming in this city. I have no doubt about that. It’s time to go home. So we can all move forward.”
The mayor went on to say that anyone who was out “simply to create violence” would be arrested.
“We believe in peaceful protests, we believe in civil disobedience, we believe in people exercising their democratic rights, but not attacking police officers, not attacking communities,” de Blasio said.
Friday night’s protests in Brooklyn also boiled over into violence.
Law enforcement sources say at least three people are facing federal charges for allegedly throwing Molotov cocktails at two NYPD vehicles, and several other NYPD vehicles were damaged and officers were injured.
Video also caught a police officer shoving a woman to the ground.
Over 200 people were arrested during Friday’s protests, and about 70 people were arrested during protests Thursday night.