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Justice League NYC Begins March From Staten Island To Washington, D.C.

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A group of activists calling for criminal justice reform began a 250-mile trek on foot from Staten Island to Washington, D.C., on Monday.

Justice League NYC's March2Justice is scheduled to culminate April 21 with a rally and concert at the National Mall. The goal is to deliver to lawmakers a package of proposed legislation aimed at ending racial injustice and police-related deaths like Eric Garner's, CBS2's Diane Macedo reported.

"This is why we march. We march for Michael Brown. We march for Eric Garner," Assemblyman Michael Blake, D-Bronx, told marchers. "We march 'cause Walter Scott was just trying to get away and got shot in the back."

The interstate demonstration comes on the heels of new dash cam video in the Scott case that appears to show Officer Michael Slager laughing as he spoke with another officer after shooting and killing Scott. Slager has been charged with murder in the case.

250-Mile March2Justice Walk To Washington Begins Monday On Staten Island

While most of the marchers won't be able to make the entire journey to our nation's capital, along the way they will meet up with other groups, CBS2's Janelle Burrell reported.

"People have the power and right now more than ever people are taking notice," marcher Carline Pinto said.

"If you make one step or 1,001, as long as you are doing something, every step counts," marcher Dinetta Gilmore said. "And that's what matters."

"That's why this march matters," added marcher Sophie Ellman-Golman. "That's what this movement is. It's nationwide. It's global. And I feel like it's my obligation as a woman, as a Jew, as an American, as a person."

The Port Authority closed the westbound lanes of the Outerbridge Crossing for an hour Monday morning to allow protesters to cross safely onto the New Jersey side.

Staten Island officials, including Borough President James Oddo and State Sen. Andrew Lanza, condemned the move, calling the closure unprecedented and unnecessary, 1010 WINS' Glenn Schuck reported.

Oddo and other elected officials had asked Gov. Andrew Cuomo to intervene, WCBS 880's Paul Murnane reported.

Justice League NYC Begins March From Staten Island To Washington, D.C.

New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams, D-Brooklyn, took issue with the gripes.

"Stop making people decide between supporting police, who risk their lives every single day, and us saying that black lives matter," he told protesters.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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