NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A light rain didn’t stop people from gathering for a ninth consecutive night of protests against police brutality.
Friday was the most peaceful night we’ve seen in the city all week, CBS2’s Ali Bauman reports.
The ninth day of protests in New York City started on a somber note.
Demonstrators paid tribute to Breonna Taylor, who would have turned 27 on Friday. She was shot and killed in her Kentucky home by Louisville Police in March.
“I could cry right now, ’cause it’s so sad. But I’m so happy so many people came together for black lives. It’s amazing honestly,” Roy Cameron said.
The crowds marched from Greenwich Village to Kips Bay, Herald Square to Penn Station, through heat and rain in peaceful demonstrations that grew bigger by the block.
“It’s so important for the world to see this part of it, and for everybody to see that it’s not just something you can discount because people are rioting and looting, but you have thousands upon thousands upon thousands of people that are peacefully protesting out here today,” Perris Howard said.
It’s been a long week for the many who come back out each day.
“Every day I need to tell myself that I need to fight for people and I need to fight for myself and I need to fight for my future. So I come, I wake up, it’s hard, but I know what I’m fighting for and I have the passion for it and nothing can deter me,” protester Ro Rogers said.
As the evening approached, the rain held off for a candlelight vigil in Harlem.
By 8 p.m., the curfew stopped some protest groups with leaders telling the crowd to get home safely.
“I truly hope for the best and hope people’s love can help everything,” Rogers said.
Protesters also took to the streets in Brooklyn.
One rally started with a vigil at the Brooklyn Library at 2 p.m.
There was another large protest that crossed through Grand Army, and there were chants for George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Taylor.
The group also took a knee with a nine-minute moment of silence in honor of Floyd.
Some demonstrators told CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge they’ve been coming out all week. For others, it was the first day.
“I’m not, I’m definitely not getting exhausted. I’m gonna keep on going, keep on protesting. It’s not exhausting. I’m just happy to be here,” one protester said.
“People keep saying, like, well, what changes can be made? And if you look on Twitter and you look at all these organizations, they say here are the ways we can defund the police, here are the ways we can have deescalation tactics. People aren’t just screaming, like, ‘Change this’ and not giving solutions. People are giving solutions,” another protester said.
There were still some lingering protesters out several hours after the 8 p.m. curfew, but there weren’t nearly as many arrests as the last few nights.
Police guarded the on-ramp to the Williamsburg Bridge, both as a checkpoint because of the curfew and because a couple hundred people were marching in that direction. They were intercepted by police and dispersed, however, a seemingly quiet end to a peaceful and emotional day.
Many protest organizers urged people not to break the curfew Friday night, fearing anyone who was arrested could spend the whole weekend in jail waiting until Monday to be processed.
Police say about 20 people were arrested on the Upper East Side for curfew violation.
Demonstrators plan to be back on the streets bright and early Saturday.