As CBS2‘s Ali Bauman reports, people came out in droves Friday night, angry over the death of Tyre Nichols, but moreso than angry, the mood of the crowd Friday night felt dejected that something like this happened again.
Two protests sprung up in Manhattan immediately after the video was shared nationwide, as a groups in Times Square and Union Square quickly gathered to display their outrage, and continued for hours into the night. Chants of “No Justice! No Peace!” filled the night air block after block, the crowd’s frustration, pain and anger palpable as many watched the footage on their phones after it was made public.
“It was very hard to watch. I cried as I was watching it. Because it was another one of my people is dead,” said demonstrator Kevin Deshields.The groups marched on the streets before eventually combining into one larger demonstration that contained about 250 people people in midtown. Chopper 4 was over the scene as the crowd marched through the streets, holding up traffic or moving through cars at different times.
Just before 9 p.m., a protester jumped on an NYPD vehicle and smashed the windshield at the demonstration near Times Square, a police captain told NBC News. Police swarmed the scene and took the person into custody in handcuffs. The man was said to be bleeding from his wrist.
Police said it was one of three arrests that had been made as of 9 p.m. Another arrest was made for punching a police officer, while the third was for an undisclosed reason, according to the police. All of the arrests were related to the vandalism of the NYPD vehicle.
Police are also documenting any damage to other vehicles as protesters weave through cars. They also confiscated bikes from protesters who were trying to prevent arrests from being made.
NYPD officers were seen monitoring alongside the protesters. Despite the isolated incidents, the protests overall had been largely peaceful. Those who organized the demonstrations said they were planning for more rallies in support of Tyre Nichols.
New York’s commanders-in-chief at both the state and city level, along with top NYPD officials, said in no uncertain terms Friday that they support people’s right to protest in the wake of the just-released body camera footage, which had been condemned universally and emphatically even before the drop.
Gov. Kathy Hochul and New York City Mayor Eric Adams, asked about potential protest at an unrelated subway safety briefing earlier Friday, affirmed New York State Police and the NYPD had been strategically briefed and deployed, and were prepared to adapt as necessary to any situations that may evolve later Friday or over the weekend.
Hochul urged people to heed the words of Nichols’ own mother, who called for peaceful action hours ahead of the video drop Friday.
“On behalf of her family and his 4-year-old child, if you’re going to protest, please do so peacefully in her son’s memory,” Hochul said. “That’s something we all need to take to heart.”