Academy Award-winning filmmaker Quentin Tarantino joined hundreds of demonstrators waving signs, shouting through megaphones and marching along the city's streets on Saturday to protest police brutality nationwide.
"I'm a human being with a conscience," said Tarantino, who flew in from California for the event. "And if you believe there's murder going on then you need to rise up and stand up against it. I'm here to say I'm on the side of the murdered."
The group gathered in Manhattan's Greenwich Village neighborhood at Washington Square Park before marching about 2 miles along Sixth Avenue. The protesters walked past lines of police officers who had cordoned off a lane of traffic for them. As they moved, those with megaphones shouted stories of the slain as others waved signs with photos of the dead, mostly young black men, and the dates and places of their deaths.
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The event was the last of three demonstrations the group RiseUpOctober organized in New York this week. Speakers at the protest said they want to bring justice for people killed by police.
Temako Williams walked arm in arm with academic and activist Cornel West, one of the organizers. Her son, La-Reko Williams, was killed by police in 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. A federal jury ruled that a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer, who did not face criminal charges, had used excessive force, and it awarded her $500,000.
But, she said, the money is no substitute for justice.
"It wasn't worth the price of my son's life," she said. "It's a wound that won't heal."
The protest came at a time of heightened awareness nationwide of the oft-contentious relationship between police officers and the people they serve. New York's mayor and police commissioner have said they're serious about enacting smart reforms to build trust between police and communities.
But the protest also was days after Officer Randolph Holder was shot to death while chasing a bicycle thief after a report of a gunfight in East Harlem.