Groups in cities across the country marched in solidarity Thursday with those in Ferguson, Mo., who have been protesting the killing by a police officer of an unarmed teenager, Michael Brown.
In New York City, hundreds gathered in peaceful protests in several locations. More than 500 protesters marched around Union Square early in the evening, at times placing their hands in the air. At one point demonstrators stopped by officers keeping watch and chanted, “I can’t breathe.”
A crowd of hundreds then moved uptown, settling in Times Square around 8:30 p.m. Many had their arms raised high in the air. Some in the crowds chanted,”Hands up,” while others, after a beat, added, “Don’t shoot.”
Noche Diaz, 26, representing a group called NYC Revolution Club, said through a loudspeaker, “The people in Ferguson are not alone! We are all part of the fight!”
More than 200 people filled Fulton Park in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, shouting, crying, and chanting names of those who had died at the hands of law enforcement across the country. Some said the shooting of Mr. Brown made them afraid for their own families. “I’ve got a brother, and every day I’ve got to worry about him,” said Javana Mundy. “I worry he’s going to get shot the way Michael Brown got shot.”
At Morningside Park in Harlem on Manhattan’s northern edge, about 500 people gathered, including Feminista Jones, 35, who said she organized the massive countrywide moment of silence. “We have to remember the lives that were lost to police brutality, to police violence,” she said.
In Los Angeles, hundreds gathered in Leimert Park, many wearing shirts reading “Hands up, don’t shoot” and carrying signs saying “I am Mike Brown.”
The protest was peaceful, with minimal police presence, said officer Jane Kim, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Police Department. She said the department didn’t anticipate any problems with the protest.
Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard Parks, who also has served as police chief of Los Angeles, said protests like these are often about more than just one event. Mr. Parks, who didn’t attend the protest but said he was monitoring the situation, pointed to the recent deaths of Trayvon Martin in Florida and Eric Garner, who died after a New York police officer placed him in a chokehold, as other catalysts for the gathering in Los Angeles.
“These things link together because the community realizes the unique circumstances that connect them. Young. Black. Male. Unarmed,” Mr. Parks said.
In downtown Baltimore about 300 people marched peacefully to the Inner Harbor after stopping at police headquarters and City Hall, a spokesman for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said. Many chanted, “Hands up, don’t shoot.”
A peaceful protest was held in Philadelphia, and there was a vigil and moment of silence at Boston Common, according to local media reports.