Thousands gather for another round of George Floyd protests in Brooklyn on Sunday

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Protesters make their way down Schermerhorn Street on Sunday.
Photo by Todd Maisel

Protesters converged in Brooklyn and Manhattan on Sunday night to decry the death of 46-year-old George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, with demonstrators denouncing acts of racism and police brutality across the country.

Nearly a thousand individuals had walked from Union Square — the site of a chaotic evening Saturday — to Bryant Park in Manhattan. 

Over a thousand more people gathered outside Barclays Center, where more than 200 protesters were arrested during a bloody clash with police last Friday night. Sunday night’s demonstration was relatively tame compared to previous nights — although officers still made several arrests, and tensions remained high.

Less than a mile down Flatbush Avenue, hordes of protesters held another major gathering at Grand Army Plaza — where people also gathered on Saturday.

Crowds at Grand Army Plaza early Sunday evening.Photo by Todd Maisel

Sunday marked the third straight evening of demonstrations across Brooklyn, and follows days of riots in major cities across America. 

On Sunday morning, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the creation of his “Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity,” where two people — Corporation Counsel Jim Johnson and Department of Investigation Commissioner Margaret Garnett — will conduct an “independent review” of the NYPD’s conduct in handling the weekend’s demonstrations, with initial findings expected sometime in June.

Protests continue at Barclays Center Sunday.Photo by Todd Maisel
Cops outside of Barclays Center Sunday.Photo by Todd Maisel

“There are many things that I can tell you that I think were done right by the NYPD,” said de Blasio. “But there also were mistakes and there were individual actions that must be fully investigated and that must lead to accountability.”

The creation of that two-person panel comes amid widespread criticism that the Police Department used unnecessary force — including when a cop car plowed into a group of protestors near Flatbush and Sixth avenues, and an officer aggressively pushed a woman on to the ground, hospitalizing her. 

De Blasio remarked throughout the night on the relative calm at demonstrations in Brooklyn. 

However, not everyone agreed with de Blasio’s assessment of the situation, with critics demanding he do more to stop the tensions — including Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who didn’t mince words with Hizzoner’s rosy evaluation of the protest.

Sunday’s protests were widely shared on various social media platforms, where people on the ground shared their own experiences at the demonstrations.

At about 7 pm, demonstrators marched from Barclays Center to Prospect Park, walking east on Atlantic Avenue and closing a lane of traffic. And only a half an hour later, another group began marching down Atlantic Avenue the opposite way. Some crowds made their way over the Manhattan Bridge where more protests occurred, while others reconvened near Barclays Center closer to midnight.

A store window at the Atlantic Center Mall is shattered.Photo by Todd Maisel
A demonstrator kneels before police at Atlantic Mall.Photo by Aidan Graham