Like in many cities across America, crowds gathered Saturday in Newark, New Jersey, to express their outrage at the police-custody death last week of George Floyd.
But unlike the apocalyptic scenes in many major American cities, in Newark, there was no rioting, no major property damage and no reports of violence between demonstrators and police officers.
Hundreds of people in face masks lined the Newark streets in a rally organized by 'People's Organization for Progress.' Mayor Ras Baraka joined a march of more than 1,000 people after speaking from the steps to the city's courthouse.
"When you put a hand over mouths that continuously try to speak, it gets louder and louder and louder and more robust, because people are going to express themselves," Baraka said from the podium. "And we have to give people the room to be outraged to express outrage, to be angry, to express anger. Because this is not just about Floyd. We're talking about hundreds of years of lynching, of abuse, of segregation or purposeful denying of housing of poverty of unemployment. Purposeful and deliberate, systemic abuse of people, simply because they have another hue."
One crowd along Broad Street began dancing to the "Cupid Shuffle," while holding signs calling for the arrests of all four Minneapolis police officers involved in Floyd's death.
Newark Police said a separate protest outside the 1st Precinct — the site of deadly race riots in 1967 — was more tense, but there were still no reports of major violence or destruction by the end of the night.
Newark is the most highly populated city in New Jersey and over 85 percent of residents identify as either Black, African-American, Hispanic or Latinx.
In New York City, nearly 1,000 people were arrested during sometimes violent demonstrations in since last Thursday. Many disturbing images have emerged depicting violence between police and protesters.
City officials say most demonstrators were out to march in peaceful solidarity against racial injustice, but some of those protests are being co-opted by anarchist groups in a coordinated effort to stoke tension between the police and the general public.
Photo: Getty Images