Hundreds of New Yorkers took to the streets Saturday for the third day of protesting the killing of George Floyd, a black man who died after he was pinned to the ground by a white Minneapolis police officer.
The demonstrators, many wearing face masks amid the coronavirus pandemic, marched down New York City’s Harlem neighborhood, holding signs and demanding justice for Floyd and other black people during interactions with police.
Floyd died after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes even after he stopped moving and pleading for air. Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder on Friday.
The tone Saturday seemed relatively peaceful -- in stark contrast to the violent riots that parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn experienced Friday night.
Photos showed a handful of protesters arrested, including several who were detained for blocking traffic on the FDR Drive while marching through Harlem.
In one photo, a police officer is seen using his bicycle to shove a protester back. It’s unclear what led to the interaction.
Outside Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan, police officers were seen detaining protesters. One photo showed one woman on the ground after an apparent scuffled with officers.
Elsewhere, an NYPD helicopter was caught flying low over protesters in an apparent attempt to disperse the crowd.
On Friday night, protesters gathered in Manhattan’s Foley Square and outside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, invoking the names of other black people who died at the hands of police.
The peaceful demonstrations quickly escalated in violence as nighttime began, with more than 200 arrested.
Video posted to social media showed New York City officers using batons and shoving protesters down as they took people into custody and cleared streets. One video showed on officer slam a woman to the ground as he walked past her in the street.
In one incident, protesters set fire to a police van in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood.
Samantha Shader, 27, of Catskills, N.Y. was arrested and charged with the attempted murder of four NYPD cops after hurling a Molotov cocktail into a marked, occupied police van.
Mayor Bill de Blasio promised Saturday an “independent review” following the anti-cop riots.
“We need to get to the bottom of exactly what happened and how we can do things better,” he said during a news conference. “I’m going to initiate an independent review immediately of the events of last night. … I want to know exactly what happened, why it happened, and what can be done better.”
De Blasio on Saturday suggested there was blame on both sides of the protest, accusing cops of pepper-spraying elected officials, and calling it "absolutely unacceptable" that there was a video of a cop throwing a protester to the ground.
“There were elected officials at this protest, some of whom were pepper-sprayed. What a horrible, horrible situation that the people represent us who are there on behalf their community, peacefully observing, trying to help keep the peace, that they ended up being victims of pepper-spraying. That's unacceptable,” he said.
Floyd’s death -- and that of other black men and women in recent weeks -- ignited a furor across the country, sparking at-times violent protests and riots in dozens of cities.
At least two deaths were connected to the demonstrations; hundreds of people were arrested and police used batons, rubber bullets and pepper spray to push back crowds in some cities. Many departments reported officers were injured, while social media was awash in images of police using forceful tactics, throwing protesters to the ground, using bicycles as shields and trampling a protester while on horseback.
The unrest this week recalled the riots in Los Angeles nearly 30 years ago after the acquittal of the white police officers who beat Rodney King, a black motorist who had led them on a high-speed chase.
Fox News' Adam Shaw and The Associated Press contributed to this report.