On Tuesday evening, the streets of midtown Manhattan became cluttered with thousands of protesters who showed up to express their disapproval with the grand jury’s decision to vindicate the man who choked Eric Garner to death this past July.
Police were forced to implement measures to keep the crowds at bay while an NBC broadcast featuring an array of celebrities singing Christmas carols was in session just a few blocks away. Yes! The irony isn’t lost on us.
The protesters initiated the spirit of Ferguson through chants of “Hands up don’t shoot”, and “I can’t breathe” – which happened to be Garner’s last words before his air supply was brutally cut off by NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo.
Grand Central station was also a site used by some demonstrators who assumed the “die-in” position in the station.
Al Roker, Savannah Guthrie, Matt Lauer and Natalie Morales did decide to address the protest at the end of the NBC’s tree lighting ceremony.
As the crowds grew in numbers, it became clear that law enforcement had underestimated the fury this latest verdict would amass and by 7:45 pm EST, police began arresting protesters.
Matt Lauer: We have to admit it’s been a bit of an emotional and even tumultuous day, here in New York City.
Savannah Guthrie: It’s been a day of protests, in some cases even close to where we’re broadcasting tonight because of a grand jury decision earlier in the day.
Al Roker: And following what happened in Ferguson, there’s obviously a lot of difficult feelings out there.
Matt Lauer: And so, even as we do welcome the holiday season, we have to say we hope it will be a healthy and joyous and a peaceful season for everyone.
— Jinx (@Jersey_Jinx) December 4, 2014
— Amanda M. Sakuma (@iamsakuma) December 3, 2014
— Tony Aiello (@AielloTV) December 3, 2014