Thousands of peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters were penned in on Manhattan Bridge after police barricaded each end.
The crowd of 5,000 demonstrators protesting the death of George Floyd were marching from Brooklyn after New York City’s 8pm curfew and were stopped from entering Manhattan by NYPD officers manning the exit.
They were then stuck on the bridge for a short time on Tuesday night with blockades in either direction.
Around an hour after the deadline to get off the street, officers began moving in on the crowds, telling people to go home and taking any who did not leave into custody.
Evan Kutcher was one of hundreds of protesters who stood outside the Barclays Centre chanting Mr Floyd’s name.
He said: ‘Something has to break, and it’s not going to be us. We’re here because something needs to change.’
NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan said about 60 people were arrested near Central Park out of a large band of protesters who had marched from near the mayor’s residence, Gracie Mansion. Police moved in just before a heavy rain began.
Monahan said: ‘When we have these big crowds, especially in this area, especially where we’ve had the looting, no more tolerance. They have to be off the street. An 8pm curfew, we gave them until 9pm, and there was no indication that they were going to leave these streets.’
He added that crowds were allowed to disperse once arrests commenced.
As the evening deepened, there were few reports of the mayhem that had occurred on several days of demonstrations, when protesters burned police vehicles and showered officers with debris.
Gone also were the roving bands of looters who smashed their way into scores of stores and stole merchandise Sunday and Monday nights.
Protesters also appeared to react more calmly to police attempts to break up crowds, a contrast to the early days of the protests where they were occasionally met with thrown objects.
At Gracie Mansion, demonstrators were kneeling in a moment of silence when alarms rang on cellphones, warning that the curfew was approaching.
Curfews are in place across dozens of US cities following nationwide protests against the killing of Mr Floyd, an unarmed black man, who died in Minneapolis while being arrested on May 25 when a white officer held him down with a knee on his neck for several minutes.
The officer who knelt on Mr Floyd’s neck has been charged with murder.
One demonstrator, Lisa Horton, said charges announced against the other three officers who were present were a step in the right direction, but added that she continues to protest because more needs to change.
She said: ‘There’s been progress, but are we at a point where we can all celebrate? No.’
The NYPD said they arrested around 280 people on Tuesday, compared with 700 the previous night.
In all, more than 2,000 people have been detained throughout the protests, they added.
New York Mayor Bill De Blasio condemned police for roughing up journalists covering the protests.
He said: ‘There should be no condition under which any journalist is detained by the police of this city or any city in the United States of America, period.’
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