Over 100 people were arrested in New York City last night as hundreds protesting the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore police custody gathered in Union Square and marched through the streets.
The protests were, at first, without incident as family members of New Yorkers who had been killed by police officers made speeches on the park’s northern end.
Shortly after 7 p.m. hundreds of people spilled onto 17th Street and took over the roadway.
They were stopped by a line of police officers before they could reach Fifth Avenue.
During a brief standoff in the middle of the block, skirmishes quickly broke out between protesters and police, as you can see in our video:
There were several arrests, as these videos show:
Some arrest photos:
A tense standoff developed at the corner of 17th Street and Union Square West, where an automated message informed protesters they would be arrested if they blocked pedestrian traffic.
By 8 p.m. a group of about 200 people marched west on 14th Street and then up Seventh Avenue in the middle of the roadway. They snaked between idling cars, some of which beeped their support. Here’s our Periscope footage of the group flooding into Times Square with minimal police supervision.
By the time the group had walked to the West Side Highway and looped back to 42nd Street, dozens of officers accompanied by several police vans were confining the march to the sidewalk. On 42nd Street, between 11th and 10th Avenues, officers chased a man across the street and arrested him for reasons that were unclear.
During the scuffle, this woman ended up with a bloody ear:
A protester aggressively blocked me from interviewing the injured woman, but she told bystanders that she had been struck by an officer’s baton during the arrest. That was corroborated by a woman who told me she witnessed the incident. “The police were running to try and catch another guy, he swung his bat going for the man and he hit her in the face,” said the witness, who declined to give her name.
Two police officers approached the injured woman to ask what had happened, but protesters angrily shooed them off and saw her into a cab headed for a hospital.
As the group began heading south, another arrest took place in a parking lot at 35th Street and 10th Avenue.
— Bedford + Bowery (@bedbow) April 30, 2015
At Herald Square, the group staged a brief die-in and then continued south until it reached Union Square again around midnight.
While that group was marching to Times Square and back, our photographer Scott Lynch followed another swarm that marched down Broadway to City Hall.
Activist Keegan Stephan and others noted on Twitter that the downtown march briefly blocked the Holland Tunnel and then took over the West Side Highway. There, police made more arrests, which he filmed. Still more occurred on Houston and Thompson, he tweeted. Animal NY reported seeing a woman punched by a white-shirted officer on West Houston Street. Journalist Jessica Warriner filmed arrests at West 3rd Street and on East 22nd Street.
At the time of this post, a police spokesperson was unable to give an exact number of arrests or elaborate on the nature of the charges, saying only that over 100 were taken into custody.