Black Lives Matter protesters are occupying a park near New York Hall and demanding the abolition of the city’s police department.
For the second day in a row, a group named Million March NYC, made up of various left-wing and Black Lives Matter activists, have taken to City Hall Park demanding immediate the resignation of the NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton and want the police department completely defunded, according to Gothamist.
Bratton did announce his resignation on Tuesday but said it had nothing to do with the protests, according to ABC.
The group was started after the death of Eric Garner who died in a police takedown on Staten Island in 2014.
Activists chanted Garner’s name along with several other African Americans who were killed by cops, including Mike Brown who was armed and threatening police.
“With this action, we wanted to draw the line between reformists and abolitionists,” Joel, an organizer with Millions March NYC who declined to give his last name said to the Gothamist. “They’ve been promising reform for generations. They throw us these bones while they talk amongst themselves to maintain the social relations that exist. But nothing has changed. The police in this country have been killing black people for 397 years. We go to sleep knowing someone has been killed by police, and wake up just to see another.”
The rally involving about 250 protestors also made demands to change aggressive policing that has locked up thousands of people.
Over the last 23 years, the NYPD has had one of the most successful crime reduction programs in the country. According to the NYC Crime stats since 1990, rape is down by 54 percent, robbery has declined 83 percent, and homicide is down by 84 percent.
Black lives do matter, and the NYPD has saved thousands of them over the last two decades.