NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Thousands of protesters marched through New York City on Wednesday over the grand jury’s decision that Louisville police officers will not be charged in Breonna Taylor‘s death.
Protesters marched for at least four hours Wednesday night, and many told CBS2’s Ali Bauman they were angry and exhausted from watching injustices repeat.
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Taylor’s name echoed from Brooklyn to Manhattan.
“I’m a little appalled, but it makes sense because that’s exactly how they look at us. We don’t matter to them,” one protester said.
Thousands of people gathered in protest on the Upper East Side and in downtown Brooklyn, where they staged a die-in before marching over the Manhattan Bridge.
— Ali Bauman (@AliBaumanTV) September 23, 2020
“It’s gonna be a flashpoint for the election, and this is gonna be a referendum on police brutality in America,” protester Ace Burns said.
Many in the crowds say they could not sit home after learning the Louisville police officers were not directly charged for Taylor’s death.
“Every person out here is emotionally and psychologically abused right now, traumatized. So any action that you hear or see from this, understand it’s on behalf of people who are trying not to hurt and kill people,” Burns said.
After the ruling was announced Wednesday afternoon, local activists groups behind the protests in New York released a statement denouncing the grand jury’s decision not to charge any officers directly for Taylor’s death.
They say in part, “The police of this Nation — from Louisville to Brooklyn — serve at the behest of the people they took an oath to protect. For far too long, police officers, corrupt politicians and different broken fractions of the criminal justice system have focused on protecting themselves.”
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Police in riot gear stayed close as the crowd made their way off the bridge and up through Manhattan.
“They’re using our money, taxpayer money, to brutalize us, to kill us,” one speaker told the crowd.
Karega Atkinson brought his two kids to the march. He says he wanted to help show them community in a time of pain and division.
“I feel sorry for the future, I feel it for them, and I just want to make them aware, and I’m glad all races and all nationalities are banding together to come together to protest and fight for justice,” Atkinson said.
“We all have the same red blood, so we’re all humans. We should be treated like humans,” Atkinson’s 13-year-old daughter, Kiera, said.
There was a heavy NYPD presence walking alongside and following the crowd as they marched through the city.
As of 11 p.m., there were no reports of arrests or vandalism.
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