NEW YORK, December 13 (Sputnik) – Issues related to racial discrimination have always been present in the United States, the deaths of African-American Michael Brown and Eric Garner at the hands of white policemen only brought them closer to the surface, a participant in New York protests against police violence has told Sputnik.
"We need to see some change. Racial tensions were always underneath the surface, but consecutive incidents like with Garner and Brown, it's just too much. Someone needs to be held accountable," Tyler Gabriel, a middle-aged African-American protester from New Jersey, told Sputnik Saturday.
Gabriel stressed that it was not just African-Americans who were taking part in protests, which follow US grand jury decisions not to indict officers Daniel Pantaleo and Darren Wilson.
"This isn't just a black thing… look at all these people marching… of different colors. We all are calling for justice," the protester said, adding that the United States needs "political change" and "new laws or new procedures" to protect US citizens.
"There are good cops and bad cops. However, the people need protection. Who is going to protect us from the bad cops?" Gabriel said.
Thousands of Americans gathered in New York's Washington Square Park in Manhattan Saturday to march in protest against police violence.
The organizers of the event, dubbed the "Day of Anger", are demanding an end to racial profiling by police in the United States and the creation of an independent prosecutor to handle police misconduct.
The protest is the latest in a series of nation-wide demonstrations held in the United States in the past few months over the Brown and Garner cases.
Eric Garner, a 43-year-old African-American street peddler selling untaxed cigarettes, died from a chokehold by white police officer Daniel Pantaleo in New York on July 19. Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African-American teenager, was shot and killed by white policeman Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 9. Grand juries in both the St. Louis County, Missouri, and New York City have decided not to charge the police officers.