July 8th, 2016
Last night over a thousand people marched through the streets of New York City to protest the back-to-back police killings of three black men in the preceding days—Delrawn Small in New York on July 4 (by an off-duty cop), Alton Sterling in Louisiana on July 5 and and Philando Castile in Minnesota on July 6. Their deaths are the latest in what has been a year with 509 police killings already, since January 1 2016, according to the Washington Post‘s count. (There is no official government count—which is crazy, given what else the government does track—so numbers vary, with The Guardian‘s count at 566).
There were also protests in Oakland, in DC and in Dallas—where five police officers were killed last night by at least one sniper.
The New York Rally began very peacefully in Union Square at around 5 pm. But dozens of protesters were arrested in Times Square a few hours later.
Many in the diverse crowd carried signs, with a range of messages:
Some parents brought their children. I spoke with one of them about her reasons for attending and her wishes for change:
As the protesters walked through down Fifth Avenue, many drivers honked and chanted in solidarity.
A taxi driver and a passing marcher shared a high five:
At one point, a police officer and a few protesters were walking together, having a deeply engaged, but polite conversation in which they each appeared to be working to understand where the other was coming from.
— Keegan Stephan (@KeeganNYC) July 8, 2016