MANHATTAN — Several activists and mayoral candidate Shaun Donovan were arrested Tuesday morning during a small demonstration in Lower Manhattan marking the anniversary of George Floyd’s death.
Hawk Newsome and Chivona Newsome, siblings and the co-founders of the Greater New York chapter of Black Lives Matter, were also among those taken into custody.
Police placed the activists in plastic Zip Ties after announcing a warning over a loud speaker that they would be arrested if they continued to block traffic.
A total of five people — one woman and four men — were arrested, police said. They were issued summonses for disorderly conduct for blocking traffic to the Holland Tunnel, according to the NYPD.
Chivona Newsome spoke with the PIX11 Morning News as she was headed to the protest and reflected on the year since Floyd’s death.
The demonstration started around 9:30 a.m. at Canal and West streets, near the Holland Tunnel.
Donovan and Newsome were joined by Rev. Kevin McCall, attorney Sandford Rubenstein, and several other civil rights activists. The group marched a short distance, then knelt on the ground in the middle of the street for 9 minutes and 29 seconds — the length of time that former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck one year ago.
Chauvin was convicted in April of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Donovan and Rev. McCall spoke outside of the precinct after they were released from custody.
“I’m here standing with New York City mayoral candidate Shaun Dononvan, who is now my cellmate,” McCall said. “We just finished performing as we call civil disobedience for justice … Sometimes you need to do things that turn up the temperature for justice … So we disrupted and performed civil disobedience … but it’s about change. It’s about reform.”
Donovan said he asked McCall if he could join Tuesday’s demonstration and civil disobedience “to be an ally in the struggle.”
“I am gratified that Derek Chauvin was held accountable, but I want to be clear that accountability is not justice. Real justice is what we were kneeling for today for 9 minutes and 29 seconds,” Donovan said. “Real justice means that fathers of Black children in this city, mothers of Black children in this city don’t have to worry that their children will not come home when they walk to the store, when they go for a drive. And as someone who has not had to worry about that for my sons … I am grateful but I am also angry.”
Donovan is among eight mayoral candidates participating in a forum airing on PIX11 Thursday.