Thousands protest against decision in NYPD chokehold death of Eric Garner

NEW YORK -- Demonstrators angry that a grand jury decided not to indict an NYPD officer in the chokehold death of Staten Island resident Eric Garner marched throughout New York City and around the nation for a second night Thursday.

The NYPD estimated that 10,000 protesters were on the streets at one point, CBS New York reported. The rallies began at Foley Square, near City Hall, early in the evening.

"Everybody's got these posters that say black lives matter, but it doesn't seem as if it does," protester Martha Fay told WCBS.

"We're out here exercising our rights and everything is peaceful. There's no violence. There's no drugs. There's no anything," said protester John Dorsey. "Everybody is here together -- black, white, brown everybody."

The demonstrations split in several directions, with some protesters moving to block the West Side Highway for the second-straight night as others crossed the Brooklyn Bridge while chanting, "Eric Garner, Michael Brown, shut it down, shut it down."

Some carried makeshift coffins painted with the names of people who have died, allegedly at the hands of NYPD officers.

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Protesters cross the Brooklyn Bridge carrying makeshift coffins with the names of those who have allegedly died at the hands of NYPD officers on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014 in New York. CBS New York

At the Staten Island Ferry Terminal in lower Manhattan, a few protesters knocked down barricades and clashed with police. One person was seen punching an officer, while another was seen swinging a sign.

Multiple people were arrested, police said, but exact numbers were not expected to be released until Friday morning.

Protests were also held in dozens of other cities, including Chicago, Atlanta and Washington D.C.

In Boston, Several thousand people blocked streets while marching to Boston Common, where the city's annual tree lighting ceremony was being held. No violence was reported, according to CBS Boston.

Demonstrators held signs saying "Justice for All" and "Black Lives Matter" and joined in chants including "Hey, hey, ho, ho. These racist cops have got to go."

Boston police said the rally was peaceful but warned motorists to expect delays around Boston Common.

Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick urged demonstrators before the rally to be peaceful and said he sympathized with their concerns.

"I'm struggling to make sense of it personally," Patrick said. "I want to stand with those -- the many, many others who are struggling to understand it -- but I urge that we express ourselves peacefully and that we continue the long march to greater understanding."

In Dallas, police said a handful of protesters were arrested for blocking a highway, but the demonstration in that city remained largely peaceful.

Earlier Thursday, protesters in Detroit lay down on the ground for a "die-in" at the city's Campus Martius as temperatures hovered around freezing.

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Students from at least four high schools in the Denver area left class and walked for miles to the Capitol, snarling traffic. Buses were sent to pick up the students after the protest.

In Minneapolis, demonstrators decrying police treatment of minorities stopped traffic for several hours on Interstate 35W near downtown before rallying at City Hall. Some protesters were fast-food workers demanding higher wages and union rights.

Decrying the grand jury decision at an event Thursday morning, the Rev. Al Sharpton and other civil rights leaders said a civil rights summit will be held following a march in Washington on Dec. 13.

"The federal government must do in the 21st century what they did in the mid-20th century -- federal intervention had to come into the South to protect people's civil rights and voting rights," Sharpton said. "Federal intervention must come now."

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Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League, called the grand jury's decision "a travesty of justice."

"Yesterday's decision by the Staten Island grand jury defied common sense," he said.

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets Wednesday night to protest the grand jury's decision not to charge Officer Daniel Pantaleo in connection with Garner's death. In New York, crowds blocked the West Side Highway, Brooklyn Bridge and Lincoln Tunnel and staged a "die-in" at Grand Central Terminal. Hundreds also converged on Times Square and around Rockefeller Center, where the annual tree lightning ceremony was taking place.

While most of the protests Wednesday in New York City were peaceful, police said 83 people were arrested, mostly for disorderly conduct, WCBS reported. New York Mayor Bill De Blasio said police planned to use a similar strategy to handling protests on Thursday.