Friday afternoon, on what would have been Breonna Taylor’s 27th birthday had she not been shot by Louisville police in April, East New York and Cypress Hill residents marched down Fulton Street, along Sutter Avenue, and to the front door of the 75th precinct, demanding justice and accountability for black people killed at the hands of police.

The march was one of many protests country-wide that have followed the death of unarmed Black man George Floyd, who was killed by police in Minneapolis on May 25. His death came just over a month after police in Louisville, Kentucky, killed Black medical worker, Breonna Taylor, while executing a no-knock warrant on her home, which was the wrong address for an attempted drug sting. The officers involved in her shooting have not been charged.

Black Lives Matter peaceful protest in East New York. Photo by Anna Bradley-Smith.

Protestors repeated chants for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Black Lives Matter, East New York and Brooklyn as they marched, urging onlookers standing on the sidewalk, or in their windows with fists raised in solidarity, some banging pots and pans, to join them on the streets.

When the protest arrived at the 75th Precinct on Sutter Avenue, which was the city’s most sued precinct between 2015 and 2018, many more than 50 helmeted officers were waiting outside the building, on the roof, and on the surrounding corners.

Over the loud speakers, organizers stressed how the East New York community had arrived to express themselves peacefully and demand accountability from the officers. Protestors got the chance to address the crowd and officers over the loud speaker, with many reminding officers they took an oath to protect the people in their communities, and passionately telling them to get on the right side of history.

Black Lives Matter peaceful protest in East New York. Photo by Anna Bradley-Smith.

Through the rain, one protestor urged those marching to keep fighting for change, saying what they were doing on the streets was already having an effect. They noted how, on Friday, the Minneapolis City Council announced a police ban on chokeholds and a requirement for officers to report others using excessive force.

Protestors told officers they would be back to keep demanding accountability and action, before marching down Sutter Avenue to Pennsylvania Street, where they walked through traffic with many drivers honking and raising fists in solidarity.

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Anna Bradley-Smith

Anna Bradley-Smith is Brooklyn-based reporter with bylines in NBC, VICE, Slate and others. Follow her on Twitter @annabradsmith.

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