A group of several hundred people gathered in Times Square just after 5 p.m. on Monday to rally in support of a Black man shot by police in Wisconsin Sunday evening.
Local organizers spoke before the crowd gathered in their pursuit of justice. The group began marching a short time later, taking their message down Fifth Avenue and into Washington Square Park. Multiple marches and protests broke out across the city throughout the evening, their message echoing down city blocks.
"We want to be out here because the police, they're not saving us, they're hurting us. We need to shut it down," one protester said. "If they don't do something with the policing, the world's not gonna be alright."
Large gatherings of protesters returned to streets after the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin over the weekend. Marches and demonstrations were ignited after a video posted on social media appeared to show police officers shoot at the man's back seven times as he leaned into a vehicle.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice, which is investigating the shooting, did not released any details about the involved officers except to say they have been placed on administrative leave. Wisconsin’s governor summoned the National Guard to head off another round of violent protests in the state Monday.
Democratic Gov. Tony Evers said 125 members of the National Guard would be in Kenosha by night with responsibility for “guarding infrastructure and making sure our firefighters and others involved are protected.” County authorities also announced an 8 p.m. curfew.
The move came after protesters set cars on fire, smashed windows and clashed with officers in riot gear Sunday night over the wounding of the 29-year-old man, who was hospitalized in serious condition
The Kenosha Police Department has said its officers were responding to a call about a domestic dispute in the moments before the shooting.
Laquisha Booker, who is Blake’s partner, told NBC’s Milwaukee affiliate, WTMJ-TV, that the couple’s three children were in the back seat of the SUV when police shot him.
“That man just literally grabbed him by his shirt and looked the other way and was just shooting him. With the kids in the back screaming. Screaming,” Booker said.
Republicans and the police union accused the politicians of rushing to judgment, reflecting the deep partisan divide in Wisconsin, a key presidential battleground state. Wisconsin GOP members also decried the violent protests, echoing the law-and-order theme that President Donald Trump has been using in his reelection campaign.
“As always, the video currently circulating does not capture all the intricacies of a highly dynamic incident,” Pete Deates president of the Kenosha police union, said in a statement. He called the governor’s statement “wholly irresponsible.”