Ferguson here: Protesters flood Manhattan Bridge, Flatbush Avenue

At the crossroads: Hundreds of demonstrators sat down for four minutes of silence at the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues on Nov. 25, protesting the grand jury decision not to indict the police officer who killed Ferguson, Missouri teen Michael Brown.
The Brooklyn Paper
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Demonstrators surged over the Manhattan Bridge on Tuesday night to protest a grand jury’s decision not to charge white Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson with any crimes for shooting black teen Michael Brown dead in August.

A thousand protesters poured over the roadway of the bridge from Manhattan around 8:45 pm on Tuesday night. Police officers turned back an earlier attempt to cross the Williamsburg Bridge, and one clubbed a reporter for this paper in the stomach in the process. A Bronx mom, marching towards the head of the crowd on the Manhattan-bound Manhattan Bridge roadway with her 9- and 10-year-old daughter and son, said she wanted them to grow up in a world where Wilson’s actions could not go unpunished.

“I’m here because I want justice for my kids,” Taisha Herrera said.

Most motorists temporarily stranded on the span remained quiet behind the wheel, though two got into screaming matches with activists, while others got out of their cars and held their hands up in support of the chant “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” that has become a signature of Ferguson protests nationwide.

When they reached Flatbush Avenue Extension, the small group at the head of the spread-out procession waited on additional marchers to swell its ranks. It then continued on to the Barclays Center, taking up the width of the thoroughfare for blocks, and upon arriving outside the arena, participants sat in the roadway at Flatbush Avenue and Atlantic Avenue for four minutes, in symbolic commemoration of the four hours Brown’s body lay in the street after his death.

The march then continued down Flatbush and turned onto Park Place into Prospect Heights, where rabble-rousers shouted “Join us!” to onlookers on their stoops, garnering scattered cheers in response. Police walked alongside this portion of the march with their batons drawn, but did not respond to copious curses directed at them, and made no move to curtail the protest.

The long walk, five and a half miles from the starting point at Union Square in Manhattan, ended at Fulton Street and Nostrand Avenue. There some of the 500 remaining protesters delivered speeches on a megaphone.

One Bedford-Stuyvesant resident was thrilled to be reunited with the march after breaking off from it earlier in the evening.

“I was at a march in lower Manhattan, took the subway home, and when I got off the subway what did I see? Another f------ march!” Amir Badal said.

Badal pledged that the marches were not over, pointing to plans by the Trayvon Martin Organizing Committee, which called the evening’s demonstration, to disrupt Black Friday.

“We’re not done! We’re gonna black out Black Friday!” he said.

Police did not arrest any of the Brooklyn protesters, according to a spokeswoman.

The demonstration followed road-blocking civil disobedience on the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges early Tuesday morning, which also went off without arrests, according to reports.

Police Commissioner William Bratton explained the hands-off policing of the un-permitted protests to the Associated Press by saying, “as long as they remain nonviolent, and as long as they don’t engage in issues that cause fear or create vandalism, we will work with them to allow them to demonstrate.”

And between the surges of demonstrators, at noon, civil rights organizations staged a formal rally in front of the federal courthouse facing Cadman Plaza. About 40 protesters turned out to that demonstration, calling on federal prosecutors to investigate the case and bring civil rights charges against Wilson.

“Police officers need to be held accountable,” said Thomas Kimble, a Crown Heights pastor. “If our youth get shot down, where is our future?”

The Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network organized the demonstration, which also included members of New York Communities for Change.

Wilson, in newly released grand jury testimony, maintained that the unarmed Brown trapped him in his patrol car and attacked him on Aug. 9, saying that the 6-foot-4 18-year-old “looked like a demon” and made him fear for his life. Wilson, also 6-foot-4 but 50 pounds lighter, described a struggle over his gun that he said “felt like a 5-year-old holding onto Hulk Hogan.” Wilson fired 12 shots at Brown, killing him.

Surveillance video showed Brown stealing cigarillos from a convenience store and shoving a clerk shortly before the fatal encounter.

Prosecutor Robert McCulloch prefaced the decision not to charge Wilson on Monday evening by denouncing social media, journalists, and the activists who have made the fatal shooting a persistent, national issue. In an unusual step, McCulloch chose to present a litany of evidence to the grand jury rather than recommending an indictment, as prosecutors usually do.

The Ferguson decision comes on the heels of police killings closer to home, including the choking death of Gowanus native Eric Garner on Staten Island, and the shooting of Red Hook resident Akai Gurley by a rookie cop in the stairwell of an East New York public housing development last week. A grand jury is weighing whether to charge the officer who a coroner determined choked Garner to death when Garner objected to being “harassed” as officers stopped him on suspicion of selling loose cigarettes. Police chief Bill Bratton described Gurley as a “complete innocent” and his death as an “unfortunate accident.”

Councilman Jumaane Williams (D–East Flatbush) appeared at the Tuesday afternoon demonstration, voicing solidarity with the group’s frustration over the decision, but also calling for calm in the wake of riots in Ferguson on Monday night.

“The rallying cry is always going to be justice and equity,” he said. “But we also need to have peaceful protests.”

A pair of Brooklyn Law School students from Cobble Hill joined the activists. They were disappointed in the decision, but from a legal perspective.

“It’s not that he was found innocent,” said Cam Thomas. ”The grand jury is saying we shouldn’t even ask the question.”

Thomas’s classmate, Ohanes Kalayjia, said the problem runs deeper than just the legal system.

“An unjust murder has been found legal,” he said. “You can look at the laws and procedures, but that would be ignoring the fact that institutional racism exists.”

Reach reporter Matthew Perlman at (718) 260–8310. E-mail him at Follow him on Twitter @matthewjperlman.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018: Context added.
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Reasonable discourse

Homey from Crooklyn says:
That's what happens when you physically assault
an armed police officer.
Nov. 26, 2014, 8:12 am
my thug love died a while ago says:
Thug managed to rob a store w/o a weapon. Thug attacked a person of authority sitting in a car, who became aware of the robbery mid assault. Thug did not comply, until death, according to some witnesses.

As for the cop, have you read his testimony? It's believable. They've the right to shoot under certain determining circumstances.
Nov. 26, 2014, 10:31 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
No reason to lie about what happened, My Thug. So why are you?

No, Darren Wilson's testimony is not believable. It would have never held up under any sort of cross examination. But we'll never have a trial with a cross examination of witnesses.

Homey, getting slaughtered by a cop happens whether you "assault" a cop or not. You could just be trying to take the stairs and you get gunned down. Cops do not need a reason to murder people and they do not use reasons to murder people, but they will grasp onto reasons after the fact.
Nov. 26, 2014, 10:43 am
mtldawa says:
correction: cop was aware of the robbery, prior to assault. mid assault, cop connected the robber w/ his attacker, through the powers of perception.

Please do not delete my posts, as they are not nearly as offensive as a cop uniform hanging from a noose - do not delete that either as it is telling of an unacceptable rage.

Sharpton has proven himself to be a racist crook, according to legit news sources.
Nov. 26, 2014, 10:59 am
mtldawa says:
@ mike, Did you read the scarey live person's testimony? Have you looked at the documents released since the trial? Are you aware witnesses have conflicting statements?

(btw, I did not post that crazy deleted holly comment)
Nov. 26, 2014, 11:23 am
Jay Pelc from Brooklyn Heights says:
What a bunch of ignorant ——s. Not only did the officer get a fair hearing and was CLEARED BY THE FACTS of the case, but the only reason the whole case was so trumped up is all the focus that Obama and Holder put on this case because it fit their narrative that there is horrible racism in this country toward blacks and that white officers are gun happy when it comes to black perpetrators. NewsFlash; White on black violence is very rare. 2) Black on black violence is by far the biggest problem but since no one profits over addressing it, no one cares. 3) Funny how the Knock Out game, systematic but random gangs of black youths attacking white minding their own business goes completely unreported, unprosecuted. How about justice for those victims or the 13 month old baby shot by black youths in Brunswick, Georgia, or the 19 year old murdered by a terrorist in Connecticut or the 87 year white veteran murdered in the state of Washington by black youths; How about justice for the business owners in Ferguson who had their businesses burned down or Officer Wilson or the entire police department putting its life in the line to quell the violence of those only there to make trouble not make a point. And all of this was stoked and inflamed by a president who lives by "Rules for Radicals" and delights in racial division. Enough already.
Nov. 26, 2014, 11:34 am
mtldawa says:
I'm not excusing the jury's decision. 1st degree, 2nd degree, manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter. If you are contradicting the jury's decision you need to articulate why and what alternative judgement you have deduced would have been more appropriate.
Nov. 26, 2014, 11:35 am
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
Protestors are a lynch mob who want Wilson's blood.

When the evidence does not add up, and you still want to punish him based on feelings not facts, you are part of a lynch mob.
Nov. 26, 2014, 11:55 am
ty from pps says:
mtldawa -- An indictment of manslaughter (or similar) seems to be appropriate. This should have gone to trial. Yes, innocent until proven guilty. But determined at trial, with cross-examination -- not just a biased presentation of the evidence by a prosecutor's office that didn't want it to go to trial. This Grand Jury and the prosecutor's painful softball approach (ensuring no indictment) was a shameful episode. McCulloch indictment record in Grand Jury is 0-5. Hmmmm....
Nov. 26, 2014, 12:16 pm
phile from winsour says:
whos paying for all the protesting damage.....
Nov. 26, 2014, 12:34 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
No, Jay, Darren Wilson was not cleared. He did not have a trial. You cannot be cleared without a trial. When there are conflicted statements, there is supposed to be a trial. Witnesses are examined and cross examined. That did not happen. I did not read part your second line because you have shown such little respect for the truth that I don't see a reason to.

mtldawa, I am familiar with Darren Wilson's story. He made up a story that fit the facts that he knew after the investigation.
Nov. 26, 2014, 12:43 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
I want to elaborate on the point that the grand jury farce is worth protesting.

The 14th Amendment guarantees us equal protection under the law. Typically, if you may have been the victim of a crime (Mike Brown's death was a homicide according to the medical examiner. The judicial process is there to determine if it was justifiable homicide, manslaughter, or murder.)

And ordinarily, the person who committed the homicide will be indicted and there will be a trial to weigh the evidence and arguments to determine that.

But that didn't happen here! The District Attorney changed the process to avoid an indictment and a trial. He gave way more weight to opposing witness accounts than he ordinarily does or any DA ordinarily does. Changing the process like this robs Michael Brown of his right to equal protection under the law. When other people are killed, the judicial system works in a completely different way than it did for Michael Brown.
Nov. 26, 2014, 1:49 pm
mtldawa says:
Not all homicide is criminal.

The jury did not have to reach a unanimous decision.

This is helpful,

The released docs are on the Times' site.

Most of you have probably been following this since August and are emotionally involved, being that you are concerned citizens. Concerned as well, I experimented with my objectivity this time, by paying attention only after the jury's decision. I'm still catching up on my reading.
Nov. 26, 2014, 3:54 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
I know not all homicide is criminal. I know how grand juries typically work for other people. I know how this grand jury worked. The DA in St. Louis changed the judicial system to protect Darren Wilson.

Since you're still catching up, this may help you.
Nov. 26, 2014, 4:35 pm
ty from pps says:
Mike -- The other time homicide works differently, at least in NYC, is if someone is killed by a driver in a car. In those cases, the "trial" ends with the NYPD.... who usually takes very little effort to collect evidence, immediately blames the victim and issues a "no criminality" statement (which I used to think was a judgement reserved to the courts).

The only reason I bring this up is to suggest that perhaps, just perhaps, many police aren't very good at their jobs. They actually don't get the purpose/reason for their job. And the policing "structure" may be rotten to the core with complacency and other less than admirable qualities... I'm trying to avoid the word corruption... but... There are so so so many instances of how police officers act like they're untouchable/special when not in uniform (all those "perks" they feel entitled to have), it's not surprising that the "above the law" attitude creeps into their uniformed life. (This is the definition of corruption. You don't need to receive envelopes of cash to be a corrupt cop!) Also all of this is not surprising when the police departments around the country -- and very much including NYC -- have become closer to paramilitary forces that perceive themselves as "law givers" swooping down from the outside rather than members of the community they are serving.

I'd love to think my comments are only referring to a few "bad apples," but...
Nov. 26, 2014, 5:18 pm
non-thug from Brooklyn says:
Put the efforts into protecting non-thugs and the police that risk their lives doing so every day and have to get grief on top of it.

Imagine if non-black minorities burn down black minorities homes and businesses when things didn't go their way!

This is a step backwards for my black brothers and sister. This behavior does nothing but bad for us a people. We need to think about the damage we're doing not only ourselves, but all the others that we've made suffer that had nothing to do with any of this, living their lives like us.

Did we learn from the yo-yo fanatics of 911 that praying on the innocent only made it worse for their own people. Wake up!
Nov. 26, 2014, 5:29 pm
jay from nyc says:
The first thing I would point out is that it is wrong to put all police shootings in the same category and say that because some police shootings are bad that all of them are bad.
The next thing I would point out is that Mr. Brown committed a robbery, a felony, within minutes Officer Wilson sees him walking in the street, also a crime, and tells him to stop. Brown refuses.
Officer Wilson then determines this is the guy who just committed a felony a few minutes ago and then attempts to stop Mr. Brown.
Instead of complying the decedent Brown then reached into the police car and attacks Officer Wilson.
We know this is a fact beyond any doubt, as the DNA evidence in the car is from Mr. Brown.
There was also additional physical evidence that shows a gun was fired within inches of decedent Brown, and there were bullet holes in the police vehicle that traveled from the inside out.
In addition the decedents blood was on Officer Wilson's service weapon as well. Officer Wilson also had bruises on his face and scratches on his neck. Those did not happen because Mr. Brown was being a polite complaint felon peacefully surrendering.
All of this physical evidence clearly indicates that the decedent physically attacked officer Wilson and tried to take his gun, which essentially means the person who does not get the gun is going to die, or at the very least be shot, its a fight to the death.
Remember this is physical evidence, which does not lie, or does not see things inaccurately like eye witnesses do, who are notoriously inaccurate.
The decedent Brown then tried to run away and Officer Wilson pursed him, as he is required to do. Officer Wilson then testified that decedent Brown then turned refused to surrender and charged him.
The blood trail on the pavement confirms that decedent Brown did in fact turn and come back towards Officer Wilson. Again this is physical evidence that does not lie.
And for those of you who say that means he was giving up, wrong, the first command ALL police officers are taught form day one is to say "get down". Police officers do not say walk towards me, because simply put, that gets Officers killed.
In short, there is not one scintilla of physical evidence that shows Officer Wilson did not do what he was supposed to do or that he did not follow the law. In addition you had a number of witness who claimed they saw something and then later admitted they did not actually see the incident, or who changed their stories, and the jury properly found them to not be credible.
For those of you who say "who cares what the evidence says he should go to trial anyway", it does not work that way, if the evidence does not support a charge, you don't go to trial, you see that all the time in situations of self defense, and basically that is what happened in this case as well.
For those of you who say the justice system was changed, I would suggest that is simply a reflection of the fact that you have a problem with race, rather than the prosecutor, and challenge you to prove a) prove so otherwise and b) more importantly beyond all doubt that the prosecutor did something illegal.
In addition, the jury was made up of 12 people, 3 of whom were black, and they examined dozens of witnesses and saw every piece of evidence and concluded there was not enough to support any kind of charge, whether it be negligent discharge of a firearm or 1st degree murder, or anything else. The jury is free to do what it wants, including ignoring what the prospector says, and there are times where a jury has done that.
So who are you to conclude that somehow you know more than the jury does, and that you have more facts than they do, and that despite the fact that the jury looked at everything, and you have only seen bits and pieces from here and there, that you are right and that they got it wrong.? If you truly believe that you are right and the jury got it wrong, then again, I also suggest that it is you who are the racist.
While this is a sad story, that does not mean that Officer Wilson broke the law or that he acted with any racial animus.
Those of you who claim that Officer Wilson somehow acted with racial animus, prove it, otherwise you are accusing a person just because of their race, and that makes YOU the racist.
While there are certainly problems with police across the country, the Staten Island choke hold case comes to mind, that does not mean that Officer Wilson also did something wrong, and now it is factually true as determined by the jury that he did not do anything wrong. .
Nov. 26, 2014, 7:05 pm
ty from pps says:
Well... jay, I'm not going to try to refute your entire comment (though, there is much that can -- and has been said by many law expert to contradict your position), you final statement is pushing it. The Grand Jury delivered a verdict of "no true bill" meaning they did not determine the probable cause standard was met. This does not mean Officer Wilson did nothing wrong.
Nov. 26, 2014, 8:47 pm
bkdude64 says:
Count the hipsters.1,2,3
Nov. 27, 2014, 12:02 am
mtld says:
something to do with inertia, were his knees bruised?
Nov. 27, 2014, 6:06 am
jay from nyc says:
which expert Ty, name your source. I triple dog dare you.
And no Ty you are wrong on what a "No True Bill" is. The legal definition is No True Bill is a finding by a grand jury that there is no probable cause to decide that a crime has been committed.
That means despite the prosecution showing EVERYTHING to the jurors, in an environment that is totally stacked in favor of the prosecution, (and remember there is no defense attorney present) the jurors found no probable cause that a crime was committed by Officer Wilson.
They saw everything, you didn't TY, and yet you sit in your sanctimonious arm chair thinking you know more than they do.
Tell me Ty, did you examine the weapon? Did you examine the vehicle? Did you see the blood trail? Did you see the location of the casings? Were you present for the autopsy? Did you interview the doctor who performed the autopsy? Did you interview Officer Wilson? Did you interview 60 witnesses?
No you didn't, but the Jury DID. So Ty please explain in what fantasy land that you think its reasonable that you know more than the jury?
You were not there, you did not examine the evidence, and you provide nothing but opinion that is based on nothing but your own personal bias.
As evidence of that bias, in your own post you stated that you think the police are not good at their job and clearly that is what you are basing your opinion of this situation on, not facts, not evidence, but you merely assume, because of you personal bias, that all cops are bad at their job so Officer Wilson MUST have done something wrong.
You want to substitute your opinion, which is based only on your personal bias, for that of the jury who actually examined all the evidence. That is just wrong Ty. Not only is it wrong Ty, but its dangerous for this country, people are presumed innocent until proven guilty, and if you had your way you would throw that out and drag people through the legal system for no reason other than to satisfy your own personal shortcomings.
Thank God we live in the United States, where people like you with a mob mentality are held in check by the Constitution.
Nov. 27, 2014, 12:08 pm
Ed from Bay Ridge says:
This should have gone to trial.
Nov. 27, 2014, 4 pm
ty from pps says:
i know everything, everybody knows that.
Nov. 27, 2014, 9:08 pm
It's Simple from Greenpoint says:
You try and take a cops gun you are basically a complete threat to society.

Robbing a store also makes you a threat to society but trying to take a cops gun is a much bigger action.

Ideally you will be arrested but there is a strong chance you will get shot and killed in the process.

The crazy party of this is if Brown just kept running he would be alive today but for some crazy reason he then decides to charge the cop.
Nov. 27, 2014, 9:56 pm
John from Bushwick says:
All sympathy for them evaporated when they started burning American flags while burning down Ferguson.
Nov. 28, 2014, 3:25 am
old time brooklyn from slope says:
g point - i said same and was deleted
Nov. 28, 2014, 10:58 pm
bkmanhatman` from nubrucklyn says:
michael Briown may not have been a savory character but did he really deserve to die?
And the prosecution was never interested in going to trial. Wish there would have been a trial to determine the cop's veracity.
If there was a trial and he was acquitted at least the cop's truthfulness would have been tested.
Nov. 29, 2014, 3:31 pm

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