By LOUIS FLORES
Police reform activists still upset with what they call a miscarriage of justice in the Michael Brown case in Ferguson, Missouri, staged a protest outside Macy's flagship store in Herald Square in Manhattan on Black Friday. According to an estimate by organisers, the protested numbered over 1,000 activists.
Holding signs that read, "Don't Shoot" and "Out of the Stores," the activists carried out the fifth consecutive day of protests in Manhattan since a St. Louis County grand jury refused to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the homicide of an unarmed teenager, Mr. Brown, in broad daylight.
Police reform activists appeared to be giving a new source of strength to the new annual ritual of Black Friday protests, which have denounced consumerism and the corporate takeover of the holiday season. Labor activists have also leveraged Black Friday as an opportunity to demand living wages from profitable retailers, such as Walmart. Near Ferguson, activists protested at the St. Louis Galleria Mall, staging a die-in, according to a post on Twitter.
Some of the protest signs outside Macy's carried jarring messages, like "End White Privilege" and "End White Supremacy," which protesters hope will wake the public up to the deadly racial bias in policing. An investigation by ProPublica has showed that young Black males are at greater risk of being killed by police. Separately, a report published last week by The Associated Press showed that police officers, who shoot citizens, are generally not prosecuted.
New York Protesters Arrested
Eventually, police confrontation with the protesters outside Macy's led to arrests, as documented in some social media videos shared on YouTube. Police were shown using a miniature Long Range Acoustic Device.
After the disappointing grand jury decision in the Ferguson case, police reform activists in New York now turn their attention to the outcome of a Staten Island grand jury decision in a review of the police chokehold homicide of an unarmed man, Eric Garner, by New York Police Department officer Daniel Pantaleo.
Hours before the Ferguson grand jury decision was announced last Monday night, police reform activists in New York renewed their calls for the resignation of NYPD Commissioner William Bratton and for an end to his discriminatory "Broken Windows" theory of policing. Other activists in New York are calling for the appointment of an independent commission with subpoena power to investigate corruption at the NYPD, including at its do-nothing Internal Affairs Bureau.