Several hundred protesters rallied outside a Nets game at Barclays Center last night in an attempt to force the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to acknowledge the issue of police violence against minorities.
The protesters obstructed traffic on Atlantic Avenue, and at times jostled with the police, who discharged pepper spray in an effort to force their dispersal.
Scene outside Barclays Center https://t.co/1Drwzj4V0N
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Protester having Starbucks poured into his eyes after getting pepper sprayed on Flatbush. pic.twitter.com/dUZe0IRyfn
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An NYPD spokesman said three protesters were arrested; two were charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. A third, Larue Jackson, 20, was charged with felony assault on a police officer.
The Nets were hosting the Cleveland Cavaliers, and LeBron James, along with Nets players Deron Williams, Kevin Garnett, Kyrie Irving, and Jarrett Jack wore shirts during their warmup that invoked Eric Garner's last words. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who are currently visiting New York, were in attendance.
Brooklyn 5 pic.twitter.com/hLSPUSM530
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PHOTOS: LeBron James, other basketball players wear 'I Can't Breathe' shirts before Nets-Cavaliers game: http://t.co/zEhTX7KBMq
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"I know us as a team we're gonna go out and try to make a stance and show that we're a team that's not with prejudice," Jack, who supplied the shirts, told ESPN.
Williams added, "I try to kinda distance myself from [social issues], but this is one where I kinda really paid attention and saw what was going on. I mean, you can see the [Garner] video and you know what happened. It's not one of those things where people are saying this and the cops are saying that. It's there for you to see. You just feel bad that a man lost his life because of that."
Later, the protesters filled the Fulton Mall and marched down Atlantic Avenue. At 11 p.m., a contingent took the Brooklyn Bridge, which had been closed to traffic earlier in the evening.