"As of 9 p.m. [02:00 GMT], about 32 people had been arrested, all near Rockefeller Center, after demonstrators tried to jump and break down police barriers," NYPD spokesman Stephen Davis said as quoted by The Wall Street Journal.
Following the verdict announcement, hundreds of people gathered in New York's Times Square and Staten Island calling for a public trial of officer Daniel Pantaleo. The protesters were chanting "I can't breathe" – the last words Garner said before his death.
Garner, 43, was married and had six children. He has a criminal record of more than 30 arrest, seven of which for selling unlicensed cigarettes.
Wednesday's grand jury decision on Garner follows another similar case in Ferguson, Missouri, where a grand jury decided last week not to indict officer Darren Wilson who killed African-American teenager Michael Brown in August. The killing and the verdict set off nationwide protests and renewed debate over police brutality and racial profiling in the country.