Protests continue in NYC amid lingering tensions over curfew

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People watch as police arrest protesters for breaking a curfew during a solidarity rally calling for justice over the death of George Floyd, Friday, June 5, 2020, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Floyd, an African American man, died on May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee into his neck for several minutes even after he stopped moving and pleading for air. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

NEW YORK – Demonstrations over the death of George Floyd continued in New York City on Saturday, with thousands taking to the streets and parks to protest police brutality as police pulled back on enforcing an 8 p.m. curfew that has led to confrontations over the past several days.

More than two hours after the curfew had passed, groups of several hundred demonstrators continued to march in Manhattan and Brooklyn, while police monitored them but took a hands-off approach.

At protests in Manhattan earlier Saturday, volunteers handed out snacks, first aid kits and plenty of water bottles on a muggy afternoon. One person carried a sign listing nearby open buildings for those seeking to escape the heat — which some soon did when a rain storm arrived.

Thousands of people crossed the Brooklyn Bridge into lower Manhattan, where other groups numbering in the hundreds to thousands marched or gathered in places like Foley Square, home to state and federal court buildings, and Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village.

Further uptown, police had erected barriers to all but close off Times Square to vehicle and foot traffic.

As the curfew passed, a large group of protesters walked onto the FDR Drive, the main north-south artery along Manhattan's east side, closely monitored by police, forcing police to temporarily shut down one side of the roadway.

Earlier, Julian Arriola-Hennings said he didn’t expect the movement to slow down anytime soon.

“I’m never surprised by people taking action because inaction, it really hurts the soul,” he said as he told protesters at Washington Square Park that they would soon march from there to City Hall.