NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The rain on Thursday didn’t stop protesters from marching for a 15th straight day.
One demonstrator said Thursday felt bittersweet. He said it’s encouraging lawmakers are starting to react and pass police reform legislation, but it’s depressing that it took this long and there is still too far to go.READ MORE: Deadline Arrives To Apply For 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund
Protesters took over the West Side Highway, weaving through traffic after making their way around the West Village.
— Ali Bauman (@AliBaumanTV) June 11, 2020
The 15th day of demonstrations in New York City was emotional for many.
“It’s really great to see people to come here together to fight for a cause that’s really traumatic for people,” protester Rocio Mendez told CBS2’s Ali Bauman.
“I think it’s progressing. It’s spreading across the world. That’s good. I think that we have to keep the pressure on, though. But it’s good to see everybody out, just not white people, black people, but there’s everyone, Hispanic, Asian, everybody’s out,” another protester said.
Midday rain was hardly a deterrent for the thousands of people walking the streets daily against police brutality.
“We’re in New York City, we pay three different taxes and we have to police the police. We’re paying people to beat us up. That’s not fair,” protester D Nice said.READ MORE: Police Seek Burglary Suspect Who Poses As A Repairman
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Hours earlier, the family of 16-year-old Jahmel Leach spoke to the media.
Leach’s family claims NYPD officers violently tased him in the face while arresting him last week, mistaking him for an adult, then failed to notify his parents of the arrest.
The Bronx teenager is still recovering from his injuries.
“The department mishandled Jahmel while in custody, forcing him to leave the hospital handcuffed and shackled in the back of the NYPD vehicle with no clothing and no shoes,” said Yamil Miller, the victim’s cousin.
“I’m not speaking just for my son. I’m speaking for every youth within America. This has to stop,” said Daisy Acevedo, the victim’s mother.
The mayor said he’s spoken to Jamhel Leach’s family and is troubled by what they told him. The NYPD says the matter is under internal review.
On Thursday, the mayor’s office announced its “Cure Violence” outreach initiative will host a series of town halls with the NYPD.
“Where young people from the local community have a platform to express their concerns. NYPD officers will be there to hear the concerns and have a dialogue,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
But that is far from enough for protesters, who say they will continue marching every day until they see tangible systemic change.MORE NEWS: Police ID David Robinson As Suspect In Attempted Subway Robbery That Led To Than Than Htwe's Death
“This stuff is huge but there’s so much on the ladder that we have to climb,” Mendez said.