Police Brutality Protests Spread Over Several Blocks on the UWS, Shut Down West Side Highway

The killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer has sparked protests across the country, and some protests occurred on Saturday on the Upper West Side. The photos below are by Heidi Stubner at 96th and Broadway.

One protest spanned Central Park West, traveling South on the avenue. Among the chants that protesters yelled was “I Can’t Breathe,” the  desperate plea from Eric Garner as he was choked to death.

Protesters shut down the West Side Highway. There was a large group of people in the 120s and more around 99th Street. Police arrested some of the people.

NEWS | 45 comments | permalink
    1. C says:

      A huge crowd headed South down the middle of Central Park West to 72nd entrance to the Park. Loud but peaceful.

    2. Sherman says:

      NYC and Minneapolis have a lot in common. They’re both uber-liberal cities run by weak and incompetent lefty mayors. The results of progressive politics are obvious in both cities.

      Will DeBlasio or any other politician have the courage to condemn police being cursed and threatened and having objects thrown at them?

      I predict mass defections from the NYPD and I can’t imagine any young person joining the police force these days. I also predict more middle class flight from NYC.

      • Balance & Hope says:

        DeBlasio was just on TV condemning the small number of people inciting and executing violent behavior toward the Police tonight in NYC. Finally. He seemed to infer that there was a radical group trying to foment chaos.

        • Cassandra says:

          Pity he didn’t infer that the radical group fomenting chaos was, in fact, the NYPD. It’s not like they’re even particularly subtle about it.

          • Tim says:

            Precincts being overrun, PD vehicles being attacked and burned, and officers having objects hurled at them. Respectively, I think you seriously need to reconsider your news sources.

      • UWSer says:

        The protests are legitimate and if the police had been professional, the problems would have been fewer. The cop in Minneapolis should never been on the force. He is an embarrassment to police everywhere as well as a sociopath. And a murderer and probably a racist. As well as a depraved asspack.

        Obviously riots and damaging property are not the answer, but neither is a full throated validation of the police. Might it be possible to find some nuance? And to acknowledge that black people in general have a lot more obstacles to living free than white people? Even on the UWS (as shown by that racist who called the cops on the birdwatcher)??

        • Boris says:

          A black man has a better chance of being killed by another black male than a white police officer. That is a fact.

          • Irish says:

            Useles statistic. How many white cops are there versus black males?

          • HelenD says:

            And your point is…?

          • Paul says:

            Hmmm.
            I guess your answer to the question “can we show some nuance here,” is “no.”

          • Steve says:

            So what. That does not make what happened to George Floyd OK in any way. If you push your knee down on a human being’s neck, chances are you will kill him.

          • AJ says:

            The difference is that civilian civilian crimes are dealt with in the justice system. The issue here is that cops who kill are not held accountable, and they are more likely to kill minorities than whites. Don’t distract from the issue at hand.

          • Margaret says:

            A black man should have NO chance of being killed by a police officer

            • Upson Downes says:

              Unless the person, black or otherwise, becomes violent and the only alternative is to use lethal force. It should also be legal for armed citizens to shoot felons even when they are running away, although not to kill. Otherwise the criminal escapes and there is little chance that he will be brought in to face justice.

              I believe the protesters are right. Persons who commit murder under color of the law should be hounded to the end of the earth.

              I also believe George Floyd’s family are right to demand first degree murder charges. But the looters are doing no favors to the memory of poor Mr Floyd. They bring discredit to everything the protesters stand for and should be shot on sight.

          • joe says:

            So? What’s your point?

            I have probably better chance to die of cancer than by police violence.

            Does it mean that police can assault me? Or vice versa: that we shouldn’t bother with cancer research?

            What’s your point?

          • Giulia says:

            Yes @Boris – thank you for demonstrating for us every racist’s favorite argument.

          • Evan Bando says:

            Boris, your comment is a convenient illogic that makes you feel comfortable with your belief that police violence, police murder against unarmed, unthreatening black men serves you well. It is an ugly frame of mind.

          • Tim says:

            True Boris, but that’s not good for the narrative that the MSM and politicians need to enforce. It’s easier to manipulate the masses when you can make people fearful, regardless of truth.

    3. GoodCopsStandUp says:

      When you put on the badge, the gun, all the rights and privileges to use force – you either handle yourself with professionalism and keep perspective on a bunch of young angry kids, even if they throw water bottles, or you don’t deserve my tax dollars.

      Police, like teachers, are too often asked to do too much. Officers are supposed to have the psychological insight and people management skills of a great kindergarten teacher, the astuteness and street smarts of a sociologist, the fighting skills of a soldier…and, and (social worker, mediator, coach, pastor, etc). Maybe the kids are right. Maybe policing does need to be redefined. Because getting away with murder, over and over, and not condemning brutality, is not serving any community we want to be part of.

      I hope it’s true what I heard, that in some cities the police were allowed, even encouraged to march WITH the activists. Wish that happened here. (What, a police union member stand against bad policing? When instead, the city citizens pays hundreds of thousands in overtime to have hundreds of tired officers stand all day, take abuse from, watch and occasionally tangle with 98% peaceful demonstrators? )We can dream

      • Nevets K says:

        GoodCops,

        I applaud your comment.
        You are correct in so many ways.
        I will add these remarks:
        Tribalism is a terrible thing in a modern world striving for equality and justice, and it must be forcefully opposed.
        When certain Hasidic Jews arrogantly defied social distancing measures, many Jews stepped forward to condemn them.
        Last night, we saw Black protestors step forward to sharply condemn the mostly Black looters, one of them asking, quite rightly, “What is wrong with you people?”
        But we have not yet seen the rank and file policemen and policewomen step forward to PUBLICLY condemn the racist and brutal officers among them.
        That time is not only now, but it has been “now” for far too long.
        You must break ranks. You must now speak out. If not, all of you will continue to be seen as a hostile tribe – and we will be right in seeing you that way because you have not distinguished yourselves from the worst among you.
        Fight it out at your station houses, not with citizens on the street.

    4. young_man! says:

      Not sure why more young black people don’t join the police force, not only in NYC but all over the country. Does the black community frown upon their young men joining? Lots of young white people consider it to be a family business with grandfathers, fathers and sons members of the police force – chances of getting injured are relatively small and you can retire in your 40s with a fat pension.
      Would they grow to be as racist and heavy handed as the current makeup of local police forces or does the stupid behavior get pushed down from the commanders at the top?

    5. A says:

      Under ordinary circumstances I would support these protests, but…did people forget that coronavirus exists? I’ve seen a few where people were six feet apart, but the size and density of many of them means that they are almost certainly spreading the virus. Given the insane number of people who have already died of COVID-19 here it seems to me that we ought to find ways to protest that don’t involve packing so many people into such a small space.

    6. Chris says:

      There is spray paint on Building in Lincoln center area and seeing damage all over these are not protesters but criminals. Also I remember there is a ban on protest that started 2 months ago. We are heading back to the 70’s folks are not going to come back real estate values are going to decline and tax base will shrivel up. Even the banks in the sky can not save us. NYC is done

    7. KB says:

      I happened to be in my car yesterday afternoon heading north on the West Side Highway when the traffic came to a full stop. Pretty soon protesters were streaming south around the cars, mostly young, white and black — wearing face masks of course since we are New Yorkers. People in the other cars seemed fine, some honked, some waved, a few gave black power fists. And then the protesters climbed across the median and continued on in the southbound lane. No police, no violence.

    8. Sam Stern says:

      All you UWS residents with no sense of right or wrong… just guilt …
      The next time you have a problem, don’t call the police!
      Call a protestor or looter..
      SUPPORT OUR POLICE

      • Abdul Sayeed says:

        Sam,
        You write, “The next time you have a problem, don’t call the police!
        Call a protestor or looter..
        SUPPORT OUR POLICE.”
        I have seen this sentiment on bumper stickers as well.
        It is offensively mindless – though it does perfectly reflect the attitude of a certain minority of policemen and policewomen, the ones who are as obtuse and bullheaded as the contents of this bullying message.
        Most obvious point: the police have a monopoly on policing – duh. So there is nobody else to call – duh once again. And your comment and the bumper stickers lord this grim reality over the citizens of this country, the obvious implication being, “If you, the citizens, criticize us by asking us to reform, we will not serve you or protect you. We, the cops, are far more POWERFUL than you. You know it and we sure as know it.” So, clearly, the message brims with arrogance and reeks of disdain.
        Second, and this will be brief: The cop’s knee is on the neck of your child for nine minutes – you can review ALL NINE MINUTES OF THE VIDEO IF YOU LIKE, AND AS OFTEN AS YOU LIKE – THAT’S THE BEAUTY OF VIDEO, SEE? – And by the end of ninth minute, the cop’s knee still on your child’s neck, your child DIES — How are you, and I mean YOU, Sam, how are you going to FEEL?

    9. Tim says:

      “…as he was choked to death.”

      I expect more accurate reporting from the WSR. He died later in custody. Big difference. Excessive force was used, obviously, but he was not “choked to death”. Words matter.

    10. Dave says:

      I am planning to move to another state. In NYC & NYS, taxes will increase with the new massive debt, Law enforcement will be a mess, crime will be an issue, racial divide will be more an issue here. Hyper sensitivity will rule the city. I have lived here since the late 90’s, seen it all here, done it all here…there is more to see & do in other parts of the USA and world. Anyone want to join me?

      • nycityny says:

        No. I too moved to NYC in the 1990s. I still love it here and plan to stay. I wish it had not been the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic…but that is abating somewhat.

      • NY Native says:

        We love it when fair-weather fans like you leave. Go already.

      • James says:

        So long, Transplant

      • anonymous says:

        If you want to see a change, don’t run from the problem–actually do something about it. Racism and racial divides are everywhere, including within your ability to simply move your life into another predominately white neighborhood

      • Adrian Benepe says:

        I suggest you move to one of the red welfare states who live off the money continued to the federal government by New York and California and Massachusetts. The great irony is that the Blue states contribute way more in tax dollars to the federal budget than they get back, and the Red states contribute way less. Try Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama or Missouri, states where the cover infection rate is going, not shrinking, because they never took the pandemic seriously and reopened too early

    11. Tom says:

      Boris – Hope your well. I felt I needed to reply to your comment. Understand that I’m not accusing you of racism but I fail to see the moral equivalency of what your saying. As horrible as the death / murder of George Floyd is the Underlying issue as I see it is that of decades upon decades of racism that exists in this country and yes it is a sad reflection of who we are as a country. I’m also sure that lots of people want to see absolute nothing change – change is a threat to them. Many of these failure’s are a symptom of how we as the leading country of the free world have elected to not address fundamental human rights…education, healthcare, income inequality, a living wage, adaquate nutrition, clean drinking water – the list goes on. . How is it that people continue to live in sub par housing, that the majority of those (outside of the elderly) who died of Covid make up the majority of deaths. These aren’t accidents but are a clear reflection of how we as a country have failed in improving the lives of everyone.

      We need better training of police officers, pay increases and Maybe better psychological testing Before entering the Academy. This violence has to stop as does the the violence between all of us as citizens. We need to change our gun laws that might be a good beginning as well as to make sure to VOTE!!

    12. Tim says:

      People should realize the amazing irony in these violent riots, arsons, and lootings. (protests are something else but I digress). When cops nationwide are being confronted with such violence and in-their-face disrespect (f&ck the police!, etc) and show their INCREDIBLE restraint and professionalism, they are actually proving the morons who are “protesting” wrong, minute by minute. If all cops were such violent thugs then shouldn’t they be blatantly implementing deadly force in all of these thousands of violent encounters?

    13. Nevets K says:

      I agree with the comment of GoodCops.
      He or she is correct in so many ways.
      I will add these remarks:
      Tribalism is a terrible thing in a modern world striving for equality and justice, and it must be forcefully opposed.
      When certain Hasidic Jews arrogantly defied social distancing measures, many Jews stepped forward to condemn them.
      Last night, we saw Black protestors in Minneapolis come forward to sharply condemn the mostly Black looters there, one of them asking, quite rightly, “What is wrong with you people?”
      But we have not yet seen the rank and file policemen and policewomen step forward to PUBLICLY condemn the racist and brutal officers among them.
      That time is not only now, but it has been “now” for far too long.
      You must break ranks. You must now speak out. If not, all of you will continue to be seen as a hostile tribe – and we will be right in seeing you that way.
      Fight it out at your station houses, not with citizens on the street.

    14. Mary R. says:

      Weren’t most of the people arrested in Minneaspolis not even from Minnesota? I hope the outside paid agitators aren’t able to manipulate the peaceful protestors into wrecking this beautiful city. The peaceful protestors don’t have a clear goal in mind; they seem to be just angry. The outside agitators have clear goals; they want to destroy America.

    15. Mary H. says:

      I understand the paid outside agitators can be distinguished from the peaceful protestors by their earpieces, expensive backpacks, etc. Anyway it’s worth observing to see if true.

    16. Vikram says:

      I see a lot of sad racists commenting. Sad to be a UWS citizen right now.

      • JL says:

        There was a recent 60 Minutes segment (less than a year old) about a Russian state sponsored building/department of over a thousand workers who do nothing all day but generate hundreds of thousands postings on the internet and social media. It’s more sophisticated than just fake news. They don’t even need to make stuff up. Their job is to weigh the 2 extreme side of the spectrum heavier, giving them louder voices than the majority moderate middle.

        Democracy needs consent (engaged /educated citizen) to function well. It is in the interest of some foreign governments that the USA remains divided. Some of these “common sense” postings are anything but. Without wise leadership from the top down. The citizens of this country need to figure this out for ourselves. Americans are passionate about politics and that’s our strength/and weakness.

        The fact that Twitter is stamping warning labels on Trump’s messages are a good start. But this is a tough challenge for the whole country, and this is just the beginning.

    17. UWS Lifer says:

      Love and support to the NYPD and FDNY!

      • Antoinette Darcy says:

        Wholehearted supporter of NYPD. But i wonder if police tend to have no sense of proportion, this man was being restrained for the crime of passing a $20 bill which might have been forged. Eric Garner was bring arrested for selling loose cigarettes. Those are not serious matters, and do not warrant restraint. Who trained these guys? Did they tell them “a crime is a crime,” as a liberal judge once told me when i was begging to be let off a parking ticket for coming back late to a meter. There is a real crisis, police are there to protect the public from danger not from loose cigarette sellers and questionable $20 bill buyers. The system stinks whether the democrat skunks are in charge like in NYC or the republican skunks in DC