The streets of New York City became the epicenter of dramatic new anti-cop protests that lasted into the early morning hours.
An estimated 1,000 protesters splintered into several mobs that snarled traffic and had helicopters swarming around Manhattan like a war zone.
At least 100 people were under arrest after a rally at Union Square in solidarity with the Freddie Gray demonstrations in Baltimore swelled and the NYPD moved in.
Cops blasted warnings for the group not to spill into the surrounding roadways and started making arrests as it did.
That’s when the rally morphed into a march that saw demonstrators take off to points north, south, east and west.
From a brief shutdown of the Holland Tunnel to snarled traffic in Herald and Times squares and Columbus Circle, getting anywhere was a nightmare for drivers.
Adding to the drama was the constant sound of police and news choppers in the skies above the flashpoints as darkness fell.
The crowds carried signs like “Black Lives Matter” and “Justice 4 Freddie Gray,” a reference to the 25-year-old black Baltimore man who died after suffering a spinal injury while in cop custody.
They also chanted: “All night, all day, we will fight for Freddie Gray.”
Meanwhile, Reuters reports :
- Smaller protests occurred in Boston; Houston; Ferguson, Missouri, Washington, D.C.; Seattle and a handful of demonstrators were arrested in Denver.
- With police and National Guard troops patrolling Baltimore's streets on Wednesday, schools reopened and business resumed.
- Baltimore's Major League Baseball team, the Orioles, played the Chicago White Sox in an empty stadium, a sign of the tenuous security situation.
- Baltimore police have arrested close to 270 people since Monday, 18 of them on Wednesday as smaller, new protests erupted. In Monday’s riots after Gray’s funeral, 19 buildings and dozens of cars burned, stores were looted and 20 officers were hurt.
- Cops are to deliver a report to prosecutors Friday on Gray but said no information will be made public.