Thousands gathered in New York‘s Union Square Wednesday (April 29) in a show of solidarity with the recent protests in Baltimore over the police custody death of Freddie Gray. NYPD officials say that over 100 persons were arrested during the demonstration for disorderly conduct after they blocked roadways and sidewalks.
The New York protest was one of several such nationwide efforts aimed at calling to attention the situation in Baltimore. On Monday, a section of the city experienced rioting and looting which garnered heavy media attention. In the days since, disturbances of the sort have all but quieted but the protests in New York, Chicago and other major cities have done their part in keeping the conversation going.
DNAInfo was on the ground at Union Square, giving their assessment of the protests from up close. While major outlets put the protester numbers at just over a thousand, images on social and also DNAInfo’s account tell a different story.
Police posted signs ahead of the protest warning that anyone who blocked the road or sidewalk would be arrested for disorderly conduct.
An NYPD spokesman said Thursday morning that more than 100 people were arrested, but that he did not know the exact number.
Demonstrators broke out in chants of “black lives matter,” but a police loudspeaker message that reinforced the posted signs drowned out the protesters.
Event organizers were eventually able to use their own speakers to address the crowd over the NYPD audio.
“Baltimore is not an isolated incident,” Harlem resident Ahmad Greene, 20, told DNAinfo. “These are incidents that happen all the time.”
Organizers across the nation are expected to continue demonstrations ahead of an upcoming announcement from Baltimore Police regarding details of Gray’s death on April 19 after his arrest a week prior.
Watch this video report from local ABC affiliate WABC below.