19:57 GMT24 January 2021
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    Over a thousand activists marched through Manhattan on Tuesday night despite Mayor Bill de Blasio's call for calm following the shootings of two police officers.

    MOSCOW, December 24 (Sputnik) — Demonstrators took to the streets of New York on Tuesday despite Mayor Bill de Blasio's call for calm following the shootings of two police officers in what appears to be an act of revenge for recent killings by white policemen of unarmed black men.

    On Monday, de Blasio urged New Yorkers to "put aside" debates and protests in the coming days in respect for the families of Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers shot dead in Brooklyn on Saturday.

    According to the New York Post, over a thousand activists marched through Manhattan on Tuesday night. "We're protesting tonight because the mayor specifically said not to. They asked for a moment of silence for the cops, but not for Garner," a protester told the newspaper, referring to Eric Garner, a black cigarette vendor choked to death by a police officer in New York in July.

    Various media outlets reported the ire police faced from demonstrators, with chants such as "NYPD, KKK, how many kids did you kill today?," comparing the NYPD with the Ku Klux Klan, and "How do you spell murders? NYPD!," referring to the Garner case.

    "There have been calls to put aside the protests, well I tell you this, the NYPD and police around this country have not put aside their murdering of our people," Travis Morales of Stop Mass Incarceration Network said, television channel WABC reported.

    Not all, however, shared the anti-police sentiment. Radio station WCBS 880 reported that some people burst into applause as police officers followed the demonstrators. One man shook his head and told the police, "You do not deserve this," WCBS reported.

    On Saturday, NYPD officers Ramos and Liu were fatally shot while sitting inside their parked patrol car. The gunman, identified as Ishmaayil Brinsley, claimed it was revenge for Garner and Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen fatally shot by a white police officer in August. Brinsley later shot himself.

    Speaking at a police athletic charity luncheon Monday, the mayor said that the shooting was "an attack on us all" and called for a pause in protests until the officers' funerals.

    The mayor previously expressed solidarity with the protesters over the Garner case, causing backlash from many. The shootings were branded "a predictable outcome of [de Blasio's] divisive anti-cop rhetoric" by former New York Governor George Pataki on Twitter. Patrick Lynch, the head of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, a police union, said "there's blood on many hands… That blood on the hands starts on the steps of City Hall in the office of the mayor," in a video on the union's website.

    Brown was 18 when he was fatally shot by white police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 9. Garner died when officer Daniel Pantaleo held him in a chokehold in New York in July. Grand juries decided not to indict the police officers involved in both cases, prompting massive public unrest in the Unites States.


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    police killing, protest, US police, NYPD, New York City, US
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