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NYC protests over Freddie Gray get heated

NEW YORK -- Several hundred people gathered in New York on Wednesday to protest the death of Freddie Gray, a Baltimore man who died in police custody, and more than 100 were arrested as demonstrators shut down roads and officers clashed with protesters around Manhattan, reports CBS New York.

The Baltimore Police Department says it will ... 03:26

In Baltimore and several other cities from Boston to Indianapolis and Washington, D.C., thousands of people hit the streets to protest. While they were mostly peaceful, there were some arrests, including 18 in Baltimore, reports the CBS station in that city, WJZ-TV.

CBS Baltimore says more than 2,000 troops from the National Guard remained scattered across city streets Wednesday night and early Thursday, helping to enforce the the second night of a citywide curfew.

Most of the crowds had dispersed by just before midnight, the station reported. The curfew went back into effect at 10 p.m.

The demonstrators in Baltimore during the day Wednesday were mostly high school and college students, CBS Baltimore says. High school students were blamed for much of the trouble there Monday night.

In Denver, police used pepper spray to control some of the about 100 protesters, and nine people were arrested on charges that range from officer assault to obstructing roadways.

Protesters returned to Ferguson, Missouri for a second night. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports several dozen people marched down West Florissant Avenue in the St. Louis suburb Wednesday night protesting Gray's death.

That same area was the site of numerous protests after the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was black and unarmed, by a white Ferguson police officer in August.

Three people were shot during protests in Ferguson Tuesday night and four police cars were damaged by rocks and chunks of asphalt thrown by demonstrators, reports CBS St. Louis affiliate KMOV-TV.

In New York Wednesday, protesters first rallied in Manhattan's Union Square, where they chanted "no justice, no peace" and "hands up, don't shoot," a reference to the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, last year. Police officers watched.

A police helicopter hovered overhead, and a police loudspeaker warned the protesters that they would be arrested if they marched in the street.

New York Police Department officers detain a protester during a march through the Manhattan borough of New York City calling for social, economic and racial justice, April 29, 2015.
New York Police Department officers detain a protester during a march through the Manhattan borough of New York City calling for social, economic and racial justice, April 29, 2015. Reuters/Mike Segar

A group of protesters spilled into the street, disrupting traffic. Dozens of police officers moved in with plastic handcuffs and began making arrests while officers with batons pushed the crowd back onto the sidewalk.

Bottles were thrown at officers on the West Side Highway, and several protesters were arrested, CBS New York reports.

Some of the protesters were lifted off the ground and carried to a waiting police van, reminiscent of what police officers did this month to Gray, who suffered a fatal spine injury in their custody and died days later.

Still, hundreds of people stayed defiant and determined, CBS New York reports.

"They're obstructing us," one man said. "We would like to march. These are our streets."

A video timeline shows the scene on the stree... 03:00

The man said it did not matter that police did not want protesters in the street.

"This is what justice is," he said. "Sometimes it's not pretty, but it has to happen."

A line of police officers stood along the edge of the sidewalk as protesters shouted "The whole damn system is guilty as hell. Indict. Convict. Send those killer cops to jail."

Comrade Shahid said he showed up Wednesday because he believes "the police have become out of control."

"If you kill somebody, it's murder. If the police kill you, it's nothing," Shahid said. "It's making this country's youth anarchists."

Later, smaller groups of protesters split off. One group marched north to Times Square, where it held a die-in by lying on the ground. Another group marched to the entrance of the Holland Tunnel, where it was stopped by police.

Gray's arrest was recorded on cellphone videos by bystanders. His death has led to protests, rioting and looting in Baltimore.

Baltimore police say they chased Gray when he fled at the sight of an officer in a drug-infested neighborhood this month. Officers pinned him to the sidewalk and then lifted him and took him, his legs dragging on the ground, to a police van.

Gray, who asked repeatedly for medical help during the half-hour ride to a police station, died a week later.

Police say Gray died of a "significant spinal injury." An attorney for Gray's family says his spine was "80 percent severed in the neck area."

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