Protesters around the country rallied for a third day Friday over a New York grand jury's decision to not indict a white police officer in the chokehold death of an unarmed black man.
More than 100 demonstrators lapped Manhattan's Columbus Circle, then walked to an Apple store, where they lay on the floor for a few minutes as a symbolic die-in. They proceeded down sidewalks through Fifth Avenue's renowned shopping district, carrying signs and chanting "Black lives matter" and "I can't breathe."
FILE - In this Dec. 5, 2014, file photo, protesters rallying against a grand jury's decision not to indict the police officer involved in the death of Eric Garner chant as they pass police while marching through Midtown in the early morning hours Friday in New York. Officers say the outcry has left them feeling betrayed and demonized by everyone from the president and the mayor to throngs of protesters who scream at them on the street. "Police officers feel like they are being thrown under the bus," said Patrick Lynch, president of the police union. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow, File)
Nationwide, tensions were already running high because of a grand jury's decision last week to not indict a white officer in the shooting death of black 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. On Wednesday, more protests erupted after a grand jury in New York City decided not to indict a white officer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner, a black man who gasped "I can't breathe" while he was being arrested for selling loose, untaxed cigarettes.
In suburban New York City on Friday, about 65 demonstrators lay down on a street corner in protest. Among them were Jason Walker of Atlanta, in New York for a wedding, and his 3-year-old daughter, Jaidyn. She told her father she wanted to lie down when the demonstrators did, and she lay on the sidewalk for the full 7 minutes, occasionally covering her eyes.
In New Haven, Connecticut, home of Yale University, hundreds of demonstrators marched Friday afternoon from the law school to the courthouse. In New Jersey, dozens of students from Rutgers University walked through New Brunswick, slowing downtown rush-hour traffic to a crawl and forcing the city to postpone a tree lighting ceremony scheduled at Monument Square.
In Colorado, students walked out of class Friday to protest the decisions not to prosecute police in New York and Ferguson. In Aurora, a suburb of Denver, eighth-grader Bennie Mahonda walked about 5 miles to the municipal center, shouting "Hands up, don't shoot!" to honks from passing cars. She had her parents' permission but promised her mother she would return to class after the demonstration, which she called "social studies outside of class."
Police make an arrest as protesters rallying against a grand jury's decision not to indict the police officer involved in the death of Eric Garner march through Midtown in the early morning hours of Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
Protestor Michael Alvarez is arrested during a march against a grand jury's decision not to indict the police officer involved in the death of Eric Garner, Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, in New York. A grand jury cleared a white New York City police officer Wednesday in the videotaped chokehold death of Garner, an unarmed black man, who had been stopped on suspicion of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes, a lawyer for the victim's family said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Police make arrests after protesters rallying against a grand jury's decision not to indict the police officer involved in the death of Eric Garner attempted to block traffic at the intersection of 42nd Street and Seventh Avenue near Times Square, Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
Police make arrests as protesters rallying against a grand jury's decision not to indict the police officer involved in the death of Eric Garner march near Times Square, Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
"It makes us kids feel unsafe, that we're outsiders, enemies of society," Bennie, who is black, said of the decisions by the grand juries in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases.
In Florida, activists marched through the streets of midtown Miami and blocked a major causeway connecting Miami to Miami Beach. In Providence, Rhode Island, several hundred people blocked downtown streets, while city police had to stop some protesters from walking onto Interstate 95 on Friday night. No arrests were reported.
The protests have been mostly peaceful.