NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Thousands marched through New York City for the seventh day of protests Wednesday.
While the tone of the demonstrations spurred by George Floyd‘s death has become more peaceful, the message remains the same: police brutality must stop now.
The crowd of thousands gathered in Washington Square Park around 3 p.m. and marched for several hours, making their way up the West Side.
Protest leaders gave speeches, and organized groups handed out water, snacks, masks, gloves and even sanitary kits for people in case they were arrested.
“It’s really just about being human and we all pledge allegiance to the flag and we just want everyone to live by that pledge,” one protester said.
The crowd grew bigger by the block, moving through Times Square up to Gracie Mansion, the mayor’s Upper East Side residence.
There, they sat in silent defiance, the street so quiet you could hear birds chirp.
— Ali Bauman (@AliBaumanTV) June 3, 2020
Protesters say they have no intention of stopping until they see tangible change.
“I’m tired of police killing black people. I’m tired of it. And I have three sons, so I don’t want to sit here and think one of my sons is next. It’s time to change. We need to hold police accountable for everything they do,” Manhattan resident Tina Grant said.
By sunset, the 8 p.m. curfew went into effect for a second day.
— Ali Bauman (@AliBaumanTV) June 4, 2020
Protesters were met by police on Lexington Avenue. More than 90 people were lined up and handcuffed before being led on a corrections bus.
CBS2’s Kevin Rincon reports there were mass arrests along Third Avenue and 50th Street about an hour after curfew, around 9:30 p.m. Protesters who were detained were loaded onto a prison bus. Police also loaded up a truck with bicycles taken from demonstrators.
The protestors who were detained are now being loaded up onto a prisoner bus by the NYPD on E 50th and 3rd Ave. pic.twitter.com/PBwtK9ztIx
— Kevin Rincon (@KevRincon) June 4, 2020
There seemed to be significantly less looting than previous night this week.
Protesters who spoke to CBS2’s Ali Bauman say the nightside looting takes away from their message of peace.
“Everybody just wants to go home, everybody wants to be happy, but if we don’t work together then it’s not gonna go anywhere,” one protester said.
“One is protesting and the other is looting. They are two very different situations,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday.
Earlier on Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said his administration will review and reform the use of force policies at the NYPD as they find necessary and vowed his office will include New Yorkers’ input in the process.
Meanwhile, thousands of people gathered for a peaceful protest in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
People joined together for a vigil in McCarren Park. They sat in silence for 30 minutes in honor of the victims of police brutality.
Those in attendance held signs and did their best to socially distance as they reflected and prayed for justice.