Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in US cities for a second night to protest against a grand jury’s decision not to charge a white New York City police officer accused of killing an unarmed black man in a chokehold.
The case of Eric Garner – combined with the decision by a grand jury last week not to charge the white officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri – have re-ignited debate over a US law enforcement system widely perceived to unfairly target and African Americans and other minorities.
Al Jazeera’s Kristen Saloomey, reporting from New York on Thursday, said thousands had gathered in lower Manhattan for a rally amid a massive police presence, with helicopters monitoring the crowds from the air.
“Emotions have been running high at the protests and there is concern that things could run out of control,” she said. “What was initially a minority issue has become a national movement.
Police said 83 people were arrested a day earlier, mostly on disorderly conduct charges, in protests held after the grand jury’s decision was announced.