NYC Chokehold Death Protests Continue in Mass.

Protesters marched through Cambridge and are still on the move

Demonstrators rallied for a second-straight night in the Boston area Friday to protest grand jury decisions to not indict white police officers in the deaths of unarmed black men.

Police say a crowd that grew to about 1,000 people marched from Somerville to Cambridge and blocked traffic on several streets including Massachusetts Avenue. Several hundred people lay down in Harvard Square. No violence was reported.

Social media posts indicated the march was organized by students at Tufts University.

The crowd protested grand jury decisions to not indict a New York City officer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner and a Ferguson, Missouri, officer in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.

On Thursday night, several thousand people took part in mostly peaceful protests at Boston Common, the Statehouse and other locations. Ten people were arrested.

The 10 who were arrested were arraigned Friday and five were fined $200. Charges against eight were changed to civil infractions, while two protesters refused similar offers and said they wanted to go to trial, according to the Suffolk County district attorney's office. All 10 defendants were released.

Police said three women were arrested trying to breach a gate at the Statehouse, six people were charged with trespassing on highway ramps and a woman was arrested for blocking stairs at a subway station. The arrests were made by Boston, state and transit police.

On its Twitter account, the Boston Police Department thanked the thousands who demonstrated peacefully and cooperated with law enforcement Thursday night, saying: "You too should be proud."

Police Commissioner William Evans, in a statement, thanked his officers for showing "restraint and professionalism" during the protest.

Gov. Deval Patrick urged demonstrators before the rally on Thursday to be peaceful and said he sympathized with their concerns.

Patrick said he was frustrated and discouraged by the grand jury's finding in the New York City case. He said it was even more upsetting since there is a videotape showing police Officer Daniel Pantaleo holding Garner in what appeared to be a chokehold, which is banned under New York Police Department policy, as Garner repeatedly gasped and said, "I can't breathe."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us