Helicopters droned over an otherwise normal Saturday morning in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. On the ground, all that seemed out of place was the police officer posted to nearly every corner south of 86th Street. Gray clouds loomed over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge–which buses would soon cross to deposit protesters in Staten Island, where Rev. Al Sharpton would lead his “We Will Not Go Back” march against police brutality.
At 92nd Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway dozens of protesters massed waiting to board vans and charter buses, briefly breaking out into a chant of “no justice, no peace”–a refrain repeated many times through the day. Most ignored it when two women walked past carrying handmade signs reading “Bay Ridge Supports the NYPD.”
Aboard one of the vans, a passenger told the Observer he had decided to attend the rally to help make sure it would not devolve into the kind of rioting that marred the protests over Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri.observer