Chants, Clashes and Hundreds of Arrests: What Happened at the Protests in New York City

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Thousands of people gathered across New York City over the weekend at protests prompted by the death of George Floyd, who died last week in Minneapolis after being pinned to the ground for nearly nine minutes by a police officer.

Location of protests and damage

The first protests sprang up on Thursday in Lower Manhattan. By Saturday, thousands of protesters had gathered in at least 10 different locations across all five boroughs. On Saturday and Sunday, huge crowds blocked major roads across the city and chanted slogans protesting police brutality like “Black Lives Matter” and “No Justice, No Peace.”

Union Square, Thursday

Foley Square, Friday

Barclays Center, Saturday

Bryant Park, Sunday

@giligetz on Twitter via Storyful; @mynameisjro on Twitter via Storyful; @NevetteBailey on Twitter via Storyful; Derek Norman/The New York Times

While many of the demonstrations have been peaceful, police officers and protesters have clashed numerous times, with many confrontations caught on videos that have been shared on social media. One video shows two police cars quickly moving into a crowd of protesters on Saturday afternoon in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

@pgarapon via Twitter

Some people smashed store windows, overturned police cars and threw bottles and other debris at the police. By Sunday morning, 47 police vehicles had been damaged or destroyed; cars were set on fire in multiple locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan, videos show.

Fort Greene

Union Square

Alya Albert on Instagram via Storyful; Edgar Sandoval/The New York Times

The New York Police Department has responded with force, using pepper spray and batons, and officers have made more than 780 arrests since Thursday, according to John Miller, the department’s counterterrorism commissioner.

Union Square

Lower Manhattan

@Ygfdante on Twitter via Storyful; @stephb728 on Instagram via Storyful

Mayor Bill de Blasio tried to defend both the protesters and the police on Sunday, saying he would investigate any abuses by officers while urging protesters to refrain from violence.

Read the latest news about the protests in New York City here.

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