Protesters: “A Week of Outrage” continues today
(CNN) — After days of descending on cities nationwide, protesters demanding an end to police brutality will reiterate their message Saturday.
In recent weeks, throngs have taken to the streets after grand juries decided not to indict white police officers in the deaths of Michael Brown near St. Louis and Eric Garner in New York City.
Saturday will culminate what organizers are calling a “Week of Outrage,” with large demonstrations planned in major cities.
“Our message is very simple,” said Carl Dix, founder of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, one of the main organizers of the protests.
“Since the ‘normal routine’ of America has always included murder of black and Latino people by law enforcement, this week, that ‘normal routine must be disrupted.'”
Protesters in major cities, including New York City and Washington D.C., plan marches for Saturday afternoon.
Eric Garner Jr., the son of the man who died after a New York police officer held him in what appeared to be a chokehold, said he was proud of the protests.
“It’s amazing how everybody (is) doing this. My father and I appreciate it,” the son told CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront.”
Some peaceful protests across the country this week have been marred by bouts of violence and crowds that disrupted thousands of motorists by shutting down freeways.
Daniel Pantaleo, the police officer seen on video choking Garner, spoke with internal affairs investigators this week.A New York grand jury decided last week not to indict him in Garner’s death.
“He indicated he never used a chokehold,” said Stuart London, his attorney. “He used a takedown technique he was taught in the academy. He said he never exerted any pressure on the windpipe and never intended to injure Mr. Garner.”
In Missouri, Officer Darren Wilson, who maintains he shot Brown in August out of fear for his life, resigned from the Ferguson Police Department last month.
Mayor accused of lack of support
Police officers are pushing back.
In New York City, the Patrolman’s Benevolent Association sent a form for members to sign requesting the mayor not attend funerals of anyone killed in the line of duty.
They accused Mayor Bill de Blasio of “consistent refusal to show police officers the support and respect they deserve.”
The city said it was disappointed.
“Incendiary rhetoric like this serves only to divide the city, and New Yorkers reject these tactics,” it said in a letter.” The mayor and the speaker both know better than to think this inappropriate stunt represents the views of the majority of police officers and their families.”
President Barack Obama, who has also joined the debate, discussed race relations in America this week.
“”This isn’t something that is going to be solved overnight,’ Obama said on BET. ” ‘This is something that is deeply rooted in our society. It’s deeply rooted in our history.’ “
The President urged African-American youths to be persistent and patient in order to help combat racial tensions in the nation.